David Nash at Oriel Mostyn

Had a fantastic afternoon at Oriel Mostyn at Red, Black, Other  – the exhibition of work by David Nash which fills all five of the ground floor galleries. The works feature both his signature carved and burned wood pieces, plus some large pastel works and a video piece “Wooden Boulder”, detailing the 30-odd year life-history-so-far of one piece of installation sculpture.

The exhibition is a real gem. Not only is it – as the gallery advertises, the first major exhibition of his work at Oriel Mostyn in two decades – it’s an extremely succinct summation of his work as a whole. From the late 1970’s until the present day, one can see the evolution of his artistic train of thought – a process also beautifully realised in four large illustrated panels by Nash showing the evolutionary “family tree” of his sculptural pieces over the past forty years; itself a rare example of an artist’s insightful curation of their own work.

The present collection of work is at once both monumental and intimate – as much sturdy, strong and deep-rooted as it is ephemeral and transient. From bluebell rings to buried lumps of oak, from pastel and charcoal drawings to living, breathing circles of ash, from burned stumps to mighty totems – this exhibition showcases a way of working that sings with a deep and visually resonant connection to technique and material, which explores the place art and craft occupy both within the gallery and the landscape at large. It is, I think, an exhibition that many of us could learn a great deal something from.

The exhibition only runs for another four days, until the 13th. If you’ve any chance of getting up to Llandudno between now and the weekend, do.