British artist David Nash has been making sculptures from trees since the late 1970s. An ardent environmentalist, he uses only trees that have fallen or cuts fully mature specimens to open space for new growth. He then uses the wood as completely as possible, including the twigs and scraps, which are reduced to charcoal for his drawings. This work for the Garden was made from two white oaks found near Taylors Falls, Minnesota. Nash fashioned the stripped branches and trunk into an open square frame supported on three “legs,” its sections joined in tongue-and-groove fashion and secured with wooden pegs. The resulting structure allows visitors to frame idealized views of the surrounding land and cityscape, reminding us of the role art can play in unifying man and nature. In 1994, after the wood’s natural aging had turned the sculpture a pale gray, Nash charred its surface with a propane torch to embolden its sculptural line and provide a new seal.
© 1998 Walker Art Center