Nate Clark


May 23 – June 23
Tuesday – Friday, 12-5pm


Saturday, June 24


June 27 – July 29


Follow & share on Instagram: #informmadart

In his MadArt exhibition, (In)Form, Vashon-based artist Nate Clark employs laborious methods of creation to ground the viewer within their physical self. Pulling inspiration from broad fields of study, such as architecture, animal behavioral science, literature, and the minimalist art movement, (In)Form reflects the deep research that drives Clark’s creative inquiry and process-oriented approach. Immersive cedar sculptures with original audio compositions, beeswax, and wool that has been carded, spun, and woven by hand combine to create a multisensory experience. Engaging viewers’ senses of smell, touch, sight, and hearing, Clark aims to foster mindfulness and bodily presence in relation to his works. This intention reflects his relationship to his creative practice, which he considers a mechanism to establish patience and tolerance within himself. 

Upon entering the studio, visitors are confronted with the pastoral aroma of wood and wool. Three Alaskan cedar domes, ranging in diameter from 7 to 10 feet, are strategically positioned in relation to one another and within the studio to enhance or immobilize specific sounds. These works are a continuation of Clark’s solo exhibition, Squinch (4Culture, 2022), where he included his first hand-formed wooden dome. This piece, now reimagined at MadArt Studio, spans seven feet in diameter and produced unforeseen sonic qualities when first exhibited. At MadArt, Clark expands on this fortuitous discovery by creating additional domes and working with two sound artists to explore the auditory possibilities of these disc-shaped sculptures and their impact on the viewer experience. 

In contrast to the cedar bowls, several large textile works displaying a range of material processes are also featured. The central piece is a suspended sculpture made of wool batting which hangs from floor-to-ceiling, bisecting the studio and dampening transmittable sound. To facilitate movement between the front and back areas, Clark provides a 12-foot-long cedar tunnel that bends at a 30 degree angle at the center, intentionally disrupting the full view through the pathway from either end.

The materials and processes incorporated in this exhibition can’t be extracted from Clark’s rural life on Vashon Island, where he weathered the pandemic, adapted to a slower daily pace, and reconnected with the land through beekeeping, gardening, and harvesting wool from local farmers. The inception of this body of work is attached to early 2020 when Clark, like many others, was experiencing the societal, historical, and environmental traumas of our current world more acutely than ever before. These joining circumstances led the artist to turn towards his practice and create work that promotes contemplative space, patience, and tolerance through meticulous and laborious making. Through such methods, Clark makes a connection between somatic awareness and therapeutic healing practices that he hopes will translate to the viewer and offer a sense of presence and ease.