David Nash, 1986

“The site for Dome looked like a Napoleonic gun emplacement. In fact, the oaks around us were planted by request of the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars (Nelson Oaks), in preparation to build the fleet of the mid-twentieth century. The shipbuilders of 1800 had run out of oak and had to use teak from India. This led to thoughts of boats and vessels.” David Nash

Near the former site of Black Dome, in a secret hollow through which a stream flows down a man-made canal, you can discover a flotilla of small charred boats, setting out across the green marsh. They seem almost like the mysterious remains of some early civilization.

The six vessel forms – three solid, three hollow – were cut from a felled dead oak and passed through a fire. The tree yielded a number of other sculptures too, including Stepped Oak Branch and Descending Vessel.

About the Artist

David Nash was born in 1945. Raised in Surrey, he studied at Kingston College of Art (1963-1967) and at Chelsea School of Art (1969-1970). He is best known for his large wood sculptures and land art, such as Wooden Boulder (1978-ongoing) and Ash Dome (1977-ongoing). Since his first solo exhibition at Queen Elizabeth Hall, York (1973), he has held solo shows annually around the world. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2004.