Press Releases

Major new exhibition by David Nash at National Museum Cardiff

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales is delighted to announce a major exhibition of the work of sculptor and land artist David Nash, opening at National Museum Cardiff on 3 May 2019.

David Nash Sculpture through the Seasons will be the largest and most ambitious exhibition of Nash's work ever presented in Wales. The exhibition will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the artist living and working in Capel Rhiw – a former Methodist chapel in Blaenau Ffestiniog, north Wales.  

Capel Rhiw has been at the centre of Nash's life and work for over half a century, doubling as home and studio. Nash has developed the space into an extraordinary sculptural installation in which he gathers and arranges his 'congregation' or 'family' of sculptures.

The exhibition will feature key sculptures from the late 1960s to the present day, exploring the different ways the artist has cut, carved and manipulated wood to produce work that crosses abstraction and figuration, yet always retains reference to the forms of the original tree and the unique qualities of the chosen material.

The centrality of trees and wood in Nash’s practice has led to his ‘growing sculptures’ – works that mark the passing of time within landscape and nature. This includes Ash Dome (1977-), where the planting and tending of 22 ash trees created a living sculptural space, and also Wooden Boulder (1978-), which marks the journey over many years of a carved boulder from stream-bed to open sea. These time-based works feature in the exhibition through documents including photographs, films and drawings.

While much of Nash’s work has been made in or from the landscape and natural environment of Blaenau Ffestiniog, he has also travelled widely to work with trees and communities across the world. These stories feed into the exhibition, and work made in overseas ‘wood quarries’ and retained for the Capel Rhiw collection also feature in the exhibition.

David Nash has had many important solo exhibitions and international surveys of sculpture and his work is represented in major museum collections around the world. Recent major exhibitions at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2010-11) and Kew Gardens (2012) have underlined his international importance as a sculptor and land artist. David Nash Sculpture through the Seasons reflects on how this international reputation was formed in the particulars of place of Blaenau Ffestiniog, north Wales.

The exhibition will tour from National Museum Cardiff to Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne in autumn 2019. It will be accompanied by a major publication David Nash: 200 Seasons with contributions from Dr James Fox, Dr Jo Melvin and the exhibition curator Nicholas Thornton. The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive events and learning programme across Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales’s museums.

This exhibition is kindly supported by the Colwinston Charitable Trust and Henry Moore Foundation


David Nash said, “I have lived with the seasons of the Ffestiniog valley for seven decades and at Capel Rhiw for five. Its environment and mountains have been my inspiration and companion. Capel Rhiw has been home for my family and a gathering place for the sculptures that have been made in the valley and overseas. This exhibition is a celebration the seasons, the weather, the trees, the making and the life. These art works have been kept as a “congregation”, a collection, a legacy for this exhibition at National Museum Cardiff.