Bronze was the first medium Smyth chose to fabricate his new, large-scale, commissioned sculptures. He continues to cast bronze editions that are small, medium, and monumental in scale.
"At first, confronting the primordial black shapes in Ned’s studio, I was overwhelmed. The evocations were so multiple, so forceful, so moving, it was hard to know where to place them. Both aesthetically and, even more, emotionally. Then, little by little, I realized that was the point. These sculptural forms were appealing to responses far more complicated, more difficult, yet at the same time more intimate than most contemporary work. They are, after all, sculptures founded on most basic of organic elements: stones that have been hewn by time and erosion, suggestive rocks that Ned has collected over many years and transformed into art by means of craft and will. Should I think of them as bodies, as caves, as cliffs? Or should I feel both embraced by their curving, organic seductiveness yet distanced by their sheer material grandeur?"
Linda Nochlin, 2006