Sunday, December 7, 2008

David Nash @ The Haines Gallery

The Haines Gallery had an exhibit of David Nash’s work, a British artist who does mainly large wooden sculptures fastidiously carved with a chainsaw. I don’t connect with these sculptures, however, Nash’s work Wooden Boulder, reminiscent of Andy Goldsworthy’s series of Time pieces but with more of a sense of humor, gave me great pleasure. Nash carved the ‘boulder’ out of a very old oak tree which had been felled, then followed its journey with (almost) no intervention down a stream to the ocean over the next 25 years. Nash documented the journey with video, photos, and whimsical line drawings. This piece made me think about our intent in our creative work and how this intent might infuse our pieces. In the case of the boulder, I felt as if the witnessing and documenting of its intermittent journey might be animating it, transforming the journey into a performance more than a circumstance. I smiled a lot.

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