Paul Nash

Step Edge; below Nash’s garden at New House, Rye, Sussex

Step Edge; below Nash’s garden at New House, Rye, Sussex by Paul Nash

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A Private World comprises 25 photographs taken by English artist Paul Nash from 1931 – 1946. All the images were taken on Nash’s No 1A pocket Kodak series 2, the only camera he ever owned which was given to him by his wife. Nash’s photography captured prehistoric sites, the seashore, dead trees and enclosed gardens, the same subjects he depicted in painting. His black and white images evoke the sense of mystery evident in his Surrealist-inspired painting, and are works of art in their own right, and not merely documents. A Private World reveals many of Nash’s primary interests, including the abstract and symbolic potential of found natural and manmade forms, and the enigmatic quality of an ancient world devoid of humans.

Conrad Aitken, a close friend of Nash, described his approach to photography stating ‘You would meet him anywhere, everywhere; perched on a stile miles from anywhere in the middle of the [Romeny] marsh, you would find him waiting to get a very special and particular light on the reeds…Once I discovered him astride an old wreck of a steamroller, which had been abandoned by a corner of the muddy little river. And once flat on his belly in the middle of the path to the shipyards, taking, from the earthworn angle–angleworm?–a peculiar foreshortened photograph of the some up-ended, half-finished fence posts. In fact, he was into everything.’

Step Edge; below Nash’s garden at New House, Rye, Sussex
Production date
photographic print
177 x 302 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2014
Accession no
Other ID
1054 Catalogue Number, PWXX Sequence Number
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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