David Nash is a British sculptor who genuinely works with wood, trees, and the natural environment. In 1977, near his home in Wales he cleared an area of land and trained 22 ash trees circle to grow in a circle for a the purposes of his artwork entitled Ash Dome. Forty years laters, the “trained” trees continue to grow today.
The dome is located at a secret location somewhere in Snowdonia and whenever it’s filmed, crews are taken there by a circuitous route to guard its security.
When I first planted the ring of trees for Ash Dome, the Cold War was still a threat. There was serious economic gloom, very high unemployment in our country, and nuclear war was a real possibility. We were killing the planet, which we still are because of greed. In Britain, our governments were changing quickly, so we had very short-term political and economic policies. To make a gesture by planting something for the 21st century, which was what Ash Dome was about, was a long-term commitment, an act of faith. I did not know what I was letting myself in for. he explained in a recent interview with International Sculpture Center
David Nash is well known for his works in wood and shaping living trees. His large wood sculptures are sometimes carved or partially burned to produce blackening. His main tools for these sculptures are a chainsaw and an axe to carve the wood and a blowtorch to char the wood.
Nash also makes land art, of which the best known is Wooden Boulder, begun in 1978. This work involves the journey of a large wooden sphere from a Welsh mountainside to the Atlantic Ocean. Wooden Boulder is a large wooden sphere carved by Nash in the North Wales landscape and left there to weather.
In the video below you can see the artists working on the project.
Ash dome is a living artwork, and the result of uniting man’s creativity and the force of nature is beyond words.
excerpt from an interview source International Sculpture Center