- Museum number
Wooden Boulder; black and white photograph of oak boulder in a stream, surrounded by graphite and charcoal drawings and text linked with arrows and dotted lines explaining the boulder's path. 1981
Black and white photograph with graphite, charcoal and gouache on cream card
- Production date
Height: 846 millimetres (frame)
Height: 770 millimetres (image)
Height: 255 millimetres (photograph)
Width: 727 millimetres (frame)
Width: 650 millimetres (image)
Width: 377 millimetres (photograph)
- Curator's comments
- Tate St Ives held a solo exhibition of David Nash's sculpture from 20/5/04 to 26/9/04, 'David Nash Making and Placing' which premiered the film 'Boulder', by Pete Telfer. The film includes documentary footage of the piece of land art referred to in 2003-6-1-84, 'Wooden Boulder', begun in 1978. The film charts the passage over 26 years of the boulder from North Wales across the Dwyryd Estuary and on into the Atlantic Ocean.
Annely Juda quote David Nash in 2004:
"The oak tree from which the Wooden Boulder has been carved dates from 1750 and grew for over two hundred years on a wooded hillside above the Ffestiniog Valley in North Wales. The tree came down in 1978.
The wooden boulder is a simple basic shape cut just enough to hint that it has been intentionally formed. For 25 years I have followed its engagement with the weather, gravity and the seasons. It became a stepping-stone into the drama of physical geography. Spheres imply movement and initially I helped it to move, but after a few years I observed it only intervening when absolutely necessary - when it became wedged under a bridge.
In volume the boulder has remained the same in appearance, gradually changing to look more like a rock, the crisp edges rounding with erosion and its surface aging.
The drawing maps the journey of 25 years 1978-2003. At any given moment the boulder is a mark in time. During the first 24 years it moved down stream nine times remaining static for months and years. Sedentary and heavy it would sit bedded in stones animated by the varying water levels and the seasons. Beyond the bridge its position survived many storms, the force of the water spread over the shallow banks did not have the power to shift it. I did not expect it to move into the Dwyryd river in my lifetime.
Then in November 2002 it was gone. The 'goneness' was palpable. The storm propelled the boulder 5 kilometres, stopping on a sandbank in the Dwryd estuary. Now tidal, it became very mobile. The high tides around full moon and the new moon moved it every 12 hours to a new place, each placement unique to the consequence of the tide, wind, rain and depth of water.
In January 2003 it disappeared from the estuary but was found again in a marsh. An incoming tide had taken it up a creek, where it stayed for five weeks. The equinox tide of March 19 2003 was high enough to float it back to the estuary where it continued its movement back and forth 3 or 4 kilometres each move.
The wooden boulder was last seen in June 2003 on a sandbank near Ynys Giftan. All creeks and marshes have been searched so it can only be assumed it has made its way to the sea. It is not lost. It is wherever it is."
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2014, London, BM, G90a, Patterns of Power (selected by students from Camden school for Girls)
2019-2020 Sep-Jan, London, BM, G90, Pushing Paper: Contemporary drawing from 1970 to no
2020 29 Feb - 17 Mar, Durham, Oriental Museum, Pushing Paper: contemporary drawing from 1970 to now w
2020 19 Sep-23 Oct and 11-29 Nov, Swansea, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Pushing Paper: contemporary drawing from 1970 to now
2021-2022 2 Oct – 5 Feb, Barnsley, Cooper Gallery, Pushing paper: contemporary drawing from 1970 to now
2022 2 Apr-4 Jun, Stromness, Pier Arts Centre, Pushing paper: contemporary drawing from 1970 to now
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number