David Nash in Beyond Measure

I recently saw the show Beyond Measure, exploring the importance of geometry in the arts and sciences, at the Kettle's Yard gallery in Cambridge. The most interesting piece from a landscape perspective was a photographic record of Wooden Boulder by artist David Nash. In this piece Nash rolled a carved wooden sphere he was sculpting in Wales into a nearby stream, initially with the intention of letting the current carry the boulder to his studio downstream. The boulder became stuck and Nash decided -- in lieu of his original sculptural intentions for the piece -- to allow it to remain for the force of the stream to carry away. Over the 25 years since, Nash documented the progress of the boulder downstream (the boulder was last seen in some sea marsh and is presumed to be in the Atlantic Ocean).

The documentation at Beyond Measure was unfortunately mute about the importance of geometry to this piece, but the strongly faceted nature of Nash's ersatz boulder (more gemstone than millstone) must have played a role in its initial tendency to stick in the stream and the nature of its subsequent progress.

More on Wooden Boulder (including photo and sketches) from John Davies and further explanation of the piece from some-landscapes.

 

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