From The Archives: The Mystery Of The ‘Free-Range Sculpture’ That Simply Disappeared
For 35 years, the artist David Nash mapped the progress of Wooden Boulder, his ‘free-range sculpture’, as it journeyed down the River Dwyryd in Wales. But then the gargantuan oak sphere vanished. In 2016, James Fox went to investigate
David Nash is doing a lot of searching at the moment. He’s driven up and down the A496 and stared into the waters of the River Dwyryd. He’s waded into the shallows and poked around with a long pole. He’s even flown a drone over the valley and studied the images it sent back to his monitor.
David Nash is looking for something important, his most celebrated artwork — a remarkable sculpture he’s been working on for more than 35 years. But it might just be lost for ever.
Wooden Boulder had been resting peacefully in the upper end of the Dwyryd estuary since 2013. Nestled in the lee of a small island, it looked like it had settled in for the long haul. But the heavy rains that lashed so much of Britain in August 2015 produced unusually high tides that somehow dislodged the artist’s great ball of oak. Nash has been looking for it ever since.
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