A sculpture by David Nash marks the launch of a contemporary arts programme exploring the impact and legacy of the Industrial Revolution at Coalbrookdale
A new sculpture by David Nash marks the launch of Shifting Worlds, a new contemporary arts programme at Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron exploring the impact and legacy of the Industrial Revolution.
© Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and Meadow Arts Commission
Three Black Humps will go on public display for the first time at on June 22 as part of the ongoing art project running throughout 2015.
Nash visited the site in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire on June 16, to install the newly commissioned sculpture.
The piece is made from charred wood and is embedded in a circle of crushed coal, reflecting the history and cycle of iron.
© Rebecca Farkas for Meadow Arts
Located in a landscape considered to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the sculpture is set against the brick remains of former Coalbrookdale Company buildings.
Next to it is the Old Furnace, where in 1709 pioneering industrialist Abraham Darby perfected the technique of smelting iron with coke rather than coal.
His grandson, Abraham Darby III, later used the furnace to smelt the iron for the Iron Bridge which spans the River Severn, the first arch bridge in the world to be made of cast iron.
Ffestiniog-based sculptor David Nash has been described as a Land artist, and is part of an artistic tradition working outdoors or in rural spaces. With major works at both Yorkshire Sculpture Park and at Kew, he is renowned for his large-scale sculptures, often fashioned with chainsaw and axe, of living trees.
“I am guiding the trees in the manner of the ancient Chinese potters who kept their minds on the invisible volume of space inside their pot and worked the clay up around the shape of that space,” says Nash.
Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron is one of ten museums which form the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, dedicated to Shropshire's industrial heritage.
© Science Museum London
What do you think? Leave a comment below.
More from Culture24's Transport and Industry section:
“At what altitude did you have your baby?” National Museum of Flight seeks mothers who gave birth midflight
Of time and the railway: Robert Davies' meditative film travels across the West Midlands and Wales
Pete Waterman to put £1 million model railway collection on sale in Mayfair