By Will Nash
Will Nash is an artist with a fascination for geometry and patterns in nature. Examining the faceted structure of an insect’s eye, Will has developed a piece called the Optohedron. This arrangement of five identical cells creates a rising curved sequence, which if you were to continue adding cells, would create a sphere. This links to the mysterious Golden Ratio geometry which continues to fascinate artists and scientists today. The name Optohedron is derived from the ancient Greek: optikos, “of seeing” and herd “raised seat.”
“The Optohedron sculpture is inspired by the act of viewing, thinking about seeing as the fundamental interface between the person and the world. Whilst exploring this idea, I investigated optics, the science of light, which took me to an ancient instrument, the Kaleidoscope.”Will Nash
A Kaleidoscope consists of 3 or more reflective surfaces arranged to create a tapering tube, the viewer can look through the tube from either end to see objects and views repeated as a regular symmetrical pattern. Due to repeated reflection and the angle of the reflective surfaces the view from the larger end creates the illusion of a jewel-like spherical object inside the tube.
The Optohedron is constructed from weathering steel with a protective layer of rust on its surface. Between the logs are small gaps for creatures to inhabit. The individual cells are packed with locally sourced hazel logs to create a solid surface. Concealed within the packed timber are the kaleidoscopes, each one orientated to view a different element of the surrounding nature.
The Optohedron is part of the Inspiring Views programme that reveals lost views, engages those who do not normally access the countryside and includes a conservation project. Chalk scrapes have been created in front of the Optohedron and planted with Horseshoe Vetch to attract rare native butterflies including the Small Blue.
Plan your visit
The Optohedron can be found on the North Downs Way near to Newlands Corner in Surrey. Nearest Car Park is on Drove Road, Albury, Guildford GU4 8SE. From here, carefully cross Shere Road, the A25 to walk along the North Downs Way. The artwork is on your right after an approximately 5 minute walk.
Download a map to follow from Silent Pool car park along the North Downs Way. The artwork is under section 1 on this route before you meet the A25.
With thanks to all those who donated to our crowdfunding page, to the Albury Estate and for additional support from:
Artist and sculptor Will Nash was born in Bangor, North Wales, in 1973. He studied Multi Media Fine Art at Middlesex University (1994-1997), and gained an MA in Design by Project from the University of Brighton (2004-2006). At the centre of Will Nash’s practice is a concern with form, structure and quantity.