David Nash: 49 Square

49 Square was created by Nash in 2013 as a permanent work in the YSP landscape. It comprises 49 Himalayan birch trees, which, planted in seven rows of seven, will grow to form a white cube on the lake’s embankment.

This work relates to Ash Dome, a pivotal work created by Nash in 1977. He planted saplings in woodland in North Wales that over time have created a dome shape through the artist regularly cutting and shaping the trees, so they grow in a certain way. Like Ash Dome, 49 Square is also a ‘living’ sculpture.

Making art outside is completely different from working inside. [Inside] we’ve got four walls, a flat floor and ceiling. We’ve neutralised the elemental forces. As soon as you go out there, you are dealing with slopes, wind, air, rain. You are in another dimension. You are not necessarily in competition with it, but you are in it.

- David Nash