Over 200 sculptures, installations and drawings range across the Park, including new monumental works for the Underground Gallery, a retrospective survey in Longside Gallery and contextualising displays from the artist's archive alongside sculpture in the open air and a permanent outdoor commission.
The historic landscape of the Park is a fitting backdrop chosen by Nash, the culmination of a thirty-year relationship with YSP, for this unique survey. This is the largest exhibition to date by an internationally acclaimed artist who has developed an eloquent understanding of trees, working with their traits to create sculpture, installation, projects and related drawings.
The Underground Gallery features imposing new works, including the monumental Oculus Block which the artist sourced in California. The expansive Longside Gallery comprises a survey of retrospective work from the artist's and international collections. The Bothy Gallery illustrates one of the artist's most celebrated projects, Wooden Boulder, a large piece of 200 year-old oak released into a stream in the Welsh mountains in 1978, whose journey is documented through drawing, film and photography. The Garden Gallery displays drawings, photographs and artefacts from Nash’s early career and traces the development of his practice. Seventy One Steps is a site-specific outdoor commission of 71 huge charred oak steps on the walking route along Oxley Bank, embedded in 30 tons of coal.
Nash explores the different properties of wood and trees as artistic material from early tower constructions, burnt twig charcoal drawings and growing works, most famously Ash Dome, planted in 1977. Significantly, Nash began to use the unseasoned wood of whole tree trunks and limbs after rediscovering forgotten pieces of timber that had continued to change without his intervention. This method celebrates the unique attributes of his chosen material as it continues to dry, warp and crack, changing in appearance long after the artist has finished shaping it. These works convey a wealth of expression, from enormous force to exquisite delicacy, produced by Nash's unique use of chainsaw and charring as well as natural drying.