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Nate Clark

Nets and Arches

Nate Clark's hand-tied nets and cedar arches reflect our relationship with time, technology, and the ethics of a changing world.

Nate Clark. Orange Cube (Isle Royale National Park), 2019. Mohair and silk yarn. 24 x 24 x 24 inches.
  • April 2 - 30, 2020
  • Opening: Thursday, April 2, 6:00 — 8:00 pm

Artist Talk: Thursday, April 16, 6:00 7:00 pm

Nets are ubiquitous, made and used by humans worldwide throughout history. A net can trap prey, carry goods, or be used as a safety device; it is both threatening and comforting, a duality dictated by the intention of the maker and user. A net is created from a single line looped together again and again. The process of tying a net relies on a structured system, like weaving, and its permeable surface can either be visible or invisible.

The formed arch, a timeless architectural motif, establishes a rigid threshold or gateway – a shelter of sorts. Its curvature evokes a sense of security and offers a moment, while passing through, where peripheral vision is embraced.

Clark employs both traditional and contemporary materials in his sculpture, the impact and properties of which are intentional and calculated. Strips of Alaskan yellow cedar and aromatic cedar, bent and laminated into tongue and groove elements, are glued together to form freestanding and wall-mounted arches. Hand-spun wool from his landlady’s sheep, fair-trade nettle yarn from Nepal, bonded nylon twine, beeswax from hives he kept in Reno, NV, as well as silk, mohair, alpaca, wool, wire, linen, cotton, twine, and acrylic yarn are interwoven to create the nets.

About the Artist

Born in Olympia, WA, Nate Clark received his BFA in photography and painting from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2010. The open spaces and public lands of Northern Nevada became a strong influence on his paintings and process. After living in the Great Basin for ten years, Clark moved to Seattle in 2016 to pursue an MFA in painting and drawing at the University of Washington, graduating in 2018. His graduate work shifted from painting to sculpture; he began tying nets as a means of embodying the mark-making process developed in his paintings. Net-tying relates to a childhood obsession with knitting and crocheting, some of the many crafts practiced with his grandmother. Clark currently lives on Vashon Island and teaches Art 101 as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Puget Sound while working as the studio technician for the Art Department. He also works as studio assistant for his mentor, Denzil Hurley, UW professor emeritus. Clark has work in the permanent collections of The Sierra Arts Foundation, Nevada State College, The University of Nevada, Reno, and Isle Royale National Park.