A sculpture on the University of Warwick campus by one of Britain’s greatest living artists has been shortlisted for the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association’s (PMSA) Marsh Award for excellence in public sculpture 2016.
Entitled ‘Habitat’ the artwork by David Nash OBE RA was installed in Diamond Wood on the university campus to mark the University’s 50th anniversary last year. The sculpture is a seven metre high column of cedar that has been shaped and carved to not only look beautiful but to provide shelter for birds, bats and insects.
David Nash said: “I chose this site for the sculpture to be a signal for the biodiversity Diamond Wood will become in the future. The sculpture will change over the years, becoming part of the wood’s eco-system as it weathers and creatures inhabit it”.
Diamond Wood is open to the public and is part of the Jubilee Woods project which aims to create 60 new woods of 60 acres to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Diamond Wood is to the south-west of the campus on the Sustrans cycle path. It features native species including oaks, birch, field maples and hawthorns and incorporates paths and glades that the University hopes local people will use to explore and enjoy the natural environment.
A former artist-in-residence at the University, David Nash is regarded as one of the greatest sculptors working today. In 1996, while resident on the campus he produced a series of sculptures created from wood from local trees sourced with the help of the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. After major solo exhibitions at Kew Gardens and at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, his work was included in the widely praised exhibition ‘Uncommon Ground’ held at the Mead Gallery in 2014.
Sarah Shalgosky, Curator of the University of Warwick said: “It is wonderful that David Nash’s sculpture Habitat has been shortlisted for this award and is in such distinguished company. It shows that commissioning of art is still a vital cultural process and as a result, a lot of terrific work is on show and freely available to audiences. Habitat is popular with both university staff and students and with the local people who come to share the University’s Diamond Wood.”
The Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture is offered for a sculpture installed in a public place within the last 2 years.
The award may be won outright or shared and will be presented at a ceremony in London in November. The PMSA seek to acknowledge and commend excellence, to increase awareness and discussion of public sculpture and fountains to celebrate new work that demonstrates originality, aesthetic quality and sensitivity to its site.
Photo caption: David Nash with his sculpture Habitat (credit: Martin Neeves)
Further images are available online
Notes to Editors
The annual awards are sponsored by the Marsh Christian Trust and administered by the PMSA. The awards are presented for excellence in contemporary work, and also for distinction in conservation of historical works. This encapsulates the PMSA's inclusive approach to public sculpture and fountains: as features in the urban and rural landscape, the association considers historical and contemporary sculptures and fountains to be equal in value.
Read more about the work of the Marsh Christian Trust
Alex Buxton: Media Relations Manager, University of Warwick
Tel: 02476 150423
Mob: 07876 218166