David Nash studied at Kingston College of Art from 1963 to 1967 and at Chelsea School of Art (Postgraduate) from 1969 to 1970. Nash’s first solo exhibitions were held in 1973 at Queen Elizabeth Hall, York and at Oriel, Bangor, Wales. These rapidly led to a series of solo exhibitions throughout the UK and his international reputation was established after his first solo shows overseas were held in 1980 at Elise Meyer Gallery, New York and at Galleria Cavallino, Venice, Italy. Since then, he has continued to hold solo shows on an annual basis throughout the world.
Several of the vessel sculptures Nash made in the mid-1980s have been discussed in the section of this book covering the charred works. They include examples of his vessel and volume format, a variation on the inside/outside theme in which the central section of a sculpture acts as a reflection, or echo, of its container. Serpentine Vessels is an example of the tupe, each element being about ten feet long, but Nash has also made larger versions, and installation which use a number of elements to make a flotilla or stream of vessels. An installation shot of one such work, reproduced here, shows them apparently moving over the surface of a floor, like a shoal of fish, perhaps eels.
Having recently seen ‘The Three Black Humps’ at Coalbrookdale, I was particularly interested is seeing the Serpentine Vessels and indeed they do give the impression of a flotilla of vessels.