Trees have been the sole subject of all sculptures created by Nash over his long career.
As elaborated by Nicola Kearton in her forward to David Nash: Forms Into Time:
The sculptural practice of David Nash is full of allusions to the human uses of wood. As Marina Warner writes, his bowls, spoons and vessels, steps and ladders, hearths and stoves “point to the common artifacts of daily life and to the craft-work of ordinary survival.” His work also harks back to a time when the country was a working environment, not empty except for the passing hiker or weekender, but full of people carrying on their daily affairs. In his pieces one senses the presence of the forester, charcoal burner, carpenter, the farmer laying hedges, pruning trees. Gathered from a lifetime of research into traditional methods of woodmanship from all around the world, his work evokes those agricultural skills increasingly lost in an industrial age.
In their very physicality, his pieces bring to mind the potent symbolism of wood hidden within our shared cultural imagination. As Marina Warner details in her essay, wood in mythology is a symbol of both life and death, as instanced in the cross of the Resurrection where both meanings are implicit. Nash is well aware of these links in his work.
Red Throne, 1991/2012, David Nash (British, b. 1945), patinated bronze, 1/3, 136 x 34 x 16 inches. Acquired with Funds Provided by the Miss May E. Walter Estate, 2014.033