Click image to enlarge  
Click to expand view   David Nash
Stars and Leaves
Oil, gouache, watercolour on paper
100 x 125cm

Artists Statement

Landscape has always been the main subject of my work. From an early dynamic and intuitive approach, large scale dominantly abstract works have evolved into smaller more definitive landscapes.

The emphasis on geometry and modulated colour of the larger works has remained, providing a framework to paint now directly from the landscape.

From observation in my region of Tasmania, I seek images of universal value.

  1. From catalogue Vast National Art Exhibition, Lawsons Sydney 2000

David Nash Paintings – New Works on Paper and Canvas
Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston 1993
Diane Dunbar, Curator of Fine Art, Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery


Included in this current exhibition are works which have been made over the last two years. The source of inspiration for many comes from the landscape in which Nash lives. The work might have the landscape as a starting point but often the association ends there. Nash carries the visual image further into the realm of the intellect and we the viewers are invited to join the journey.

It is a journey which commences for Nash at the moment of observation….”important in itself in terms of the dynamics of landscape, for example, the leaning of the trees, the ragged edge of a cloud, the reflection of light, changing colour and light relationships, the geometry of roads and other human intrusions, the clarity or blurriness of the horizon. Images such as these have a significant influence on the outcome of the work.”

Formulating a vision from the natural world is, it seems for Nash, part of a process of self realization. It is an impulse which comes from within rather than from outside or from a wish to describe what exists in the outside world. For Nash the feeling behind his responses to the landscape is of equal importance to his knowledge of the landscape itself. “If you come into the studio with very firm ideas about what you’re going to do, almost invariably you’ll end up with a very tight painting which runs contrary to the way a work should be created in my opinion, which is, starting more with a mood, or a feeling or a strong impulse about your subject….I do a lot of looking outside, so that the natural work is penetrating my work much whether I like it or not. It’s out there and its something I tap into.”

His first session with a painting involves bringing the work as near a degree of structural resolution as possible. The whole of the surface is worked at this initial stage and if the painting is not resolved it is approached again when dry with the same degree of thoroughness. From this point the important colour relationships, in place after the first session, are built upon and refined. “The colour, I would say is probably the closest reference I would have to the landscape itself….I’ve really studied the colours. When you look at my paintings, what might appear as a very simple surface is [actually] composed of very similar tones, modulated very closely together. There’s quite a lot of colour there and a manipulation of the surface. It’s never a flat, dead thing. It’s always in a state of flux. That subtlety is very important to me.”

Nash’s paintings, while often harmonious and subtle, can be composed of strong, broken forms which carry their own dynamic quality, catching the eye and holding it as it moves across the surface. In this present contradictions, offering movement out of apparent calm, chaos within a defined structure. In Landscape II the viewer encounters just such a paradox. For the artist this multiplicity of meaning and intention is associated with the fragmentary world of the late twentieth century and is part of his response to it as a contemporary painter.

There is an exchange for Nash beyond the painterly which attempts to locate his work in a contemporary setting. It involves the layers of meaning depicted in his work and how these can be translated and made relevant to the way we see things today…”in the nineties, it’s even more relevant to paint perhaps than ever…everything is being quantified and the technological advances through the media bring us no closer to the soul of things. In my view painting is the best method for tackling this, I’m convinced of that.”

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david nash

1955 Launceston
Lives and works in Hobart, Tasmania

studies and travel

Traveled Europe

1974 - 76 Tasmanian School of Art Diploma of Fine Art & Design
solo exhibitions

New Paintings Salamanca Collection, Hobart


David Nash Paintings – New Works on Paper and Canvas
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston
David Nash Despard Gallery, Hobart


David Nash Salamanca Place Gallery, Hobart


David Nash Paintings Devonport Art Gallery, Devonport
David Nash Paintings 85-86 Freeman Gallery, Hobart


Recent Paintings Artists Studio, Piccadilly Building, Hobart
1978 David Nash Paintings Fine Arts Gallery, University of Tasmania
selected group exhibitions

John Glover Prize Evandale, Tasmania
2nd Annual Gallery Artists Colville Gallery, Hobart


The Winnowing of the Grain Red Wall Gallery, Hobart


Art and the Divine Rosny School House Gallery, Hobart
Artaid Tsunami Relief Exhibition, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Hobart

2004 Interpreting 2004 Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Hobart

Island Art Prize Stanly, Tasmania
Art from the Eastern Shore Rosny Schoolhouse Gallery, Hobart
Winter Show Salamanca Collection, Hobart


Summer Show Salamanca Collection, Hobart


Through the Landscape Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston
VAST National Art Exhibition, Lawsons, Sydney


Sheraton Art Award Sheraton Hotel, Hobart


Art Attack Long Gallery, Salamanca, Hobart


Windsor & Newton Art Award Coventry, Sydney


Circular Head Arts Festival Stanley - Award
Art Attack Long Gallery, Salamanca, Hobart


The James Watson Collection Festival of Perth, WA
Some New, Some Not…Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston
The October Show Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston


Alice Prize Alice Springs, NT


One Hundred & Fifty Years Exhibition Salamanca Arts Festival, Hobart – Award
David Nash – Recent Paintings, Jeff Burgess – Relief Prints Burnie Art Gallery
David Nash/Kurt Olson Long Gallery, Salamanca, Hobart


Annual Tasmanian Art Exhibition Burnie Art Gallery - Award


Blake Prize Commonwealth Banking Corporation, Sydney
David Nash/Karin Hauser Roar Studios, Melbourne
Flights of Fantasy Salamanca Art Festival Long Gallery, Salamanca, Hobart


Blake Prize Commonwealth Banking Corporation, Sydney


Graduate Show Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, Hobart


Blue Gum Festival Art Acquisition Prize Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery


John Glover Prize Evandale shortlisted


Island Art Prize Stanley shortlisted


Sheraton Art Award  Hobart shortlisted


Windsor & Newton Art Awards Sydney shortlisted


Circular Head Arts Festival – Major Award

1984 One Hundred & Fifty Years Exhibition Salamanca Arts Festival - Major Award

Annual Tasmanian Art Exhibition Burnie Gallery – Major Award

1982 Blake Prize for Religious Art Sydney shortlisted
1979 Blake Prize for Religious Art Sydney shortlisted
1975 Blue Gum Festival Art Acquisition Prize, TMAG - Award

Art Bank, Sydney
Burnie Coastal Art Group
Executive Buildings, Hobart
Fine Arts Collection, University of Tasmania, Hobart
Fricker Executive Building, Hobart
Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
Holman Clinic, Launceston General Hospital
Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston
Salamanca Community Arts Centre, Hobart
Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board
Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Hobart
Wrest Point Casino, Hobart

Private collections in Australia and USA


Antipodes A North American Journal of Australian Literature
Vol 12, No 2 New York, Cover Painting – Cremorne Landscape