Clemson Clay Nest

Sculpture: Clemson Clay Nest

Clemson Clay Nest

Artist: Nils-UdoArtist Nils-Udo

Bavarian artist Nils-Udo has been working directly with nature since 1972. He turned from painting nature to creating site-specific pieces using natural materials. His stunning and lyrical artworks have appeared in Europe as well as Japan, Israel, India and Mexico.

The artist works on site using found berries, leaves, sticks, the movement of water, the growth of plants. Each piece is in response to the landscape and materials he finds around him. The beauty of nature and the gently altered landscapes revealed in Nils-Udo's work are entrancing and mysterious. It is a seductive world of "potential utopias," colorful mounds, giant nests and dreamy days in the forest. Nature is the source and inspiration.

Artist's Statement

Nils-Udo, 2005

A steep grassy slope leads down to a hollow flanked by trees and located on the edge of a forest. Profound clay soil. The project reacts and works with the natural conditions encountered there. We dug and modeled the hollow for the nest deep into the bright red ground.

Afterwards, we built the high nest walls joggling and wedging long pine trunks with one another. We lined the interior of the nest with green bamboo sticks narrowing more and more towards the inside. The nest ground stayed uncovered. Clay as a metaphor for birth and life.

Current Appearance

January 2007

Clemson Clay Nest in January 2007

In 2007, the staff of the S.C. Botanical Garden determined that the Clemson Clay Nest was no longer safe as it existed in the Garden. After discussions with the artist, the staff decided to dismantle the sculpture. These photos show the before and after images, taken in June 2007.

Clemson Clay Nest in June 2007

Clemson Clay Nest dismantled

As of Fall 2009, discussions are underway between Garden staff and Nils-Udo to replant the area where the sculpture originally stood.