Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture

This Award is run in partnership with the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA) and celebrates excellence in contemporary sculpture.

The Award recognises the best sculpture or monument installed within the last two years in a public space, enabling people to engage with this art form.

Nominations for the Award go through a number of stages of judging by a panel consisting of specialists in the field.

The shortlist for the 2015 Award can be seen here:

The 2016 winner is 'Habitat' by David Nash

This seven metre high column of cedar wood has been installed on campus outside Diamond Wood (commemorated in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee) at the University of Warwick to mark its 50th Anniversary in 2015. The sculpture was installed on campus on Thursday 6th August 2015, having travelled from David’s studio in the Welsh countryside, through the valleys and hills of the National Park.

The column has been shaped and carved, not only to look impressive, but also to provide shelter for birds, bats and insects. There is a perch for birds and a hiding place for insects, as well as slits which have been cut into the upper area to provide a home for bats. David Nash 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.” The wood that was used to create the sculpture came from a blown down tree that had been growing in the grounds of the Hotel Portmeirion in Wales. David has remained true to the original natural shape of the tree, so much so that it is possible to see where the branches would have been.

David Nash is a former artist in residence at the University of Warwick, and during this time, in 1996, he created a number of sculptures created from wood from local trees sourced with the help of the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. He has held major solo exhibitions at Kew Gardens and at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, as well as a t the University of Warwick’s Mead Gallery. David is concerned with creating sculptures which respond to the material from which they are made and to the site where they will be placed, and so in keeping with the biodiversity of the site of the sculpture it was made to also invite the natural world to occupy it.