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British artist Andy Goldsworthy celebrates the Presidio’s landmark forest in this ongoing, organically evolving project. Goldsworthy has created three site-specific installations, all making use of trees felled as part of the Presidio’s reforestation and park management efforts: the monumental yet ephemeral Spire (2008), the sinuous Wood Line (2011), and the imposing, architectural Tree Fall (2013). While Spire articulates the space into which trees grow, and Wood Line investigates the evolving relationship a tree has with the ground, Tree Fall explores what occurs below ground.
Over time, the natural materials used in Spire and Wood Line will decay and return to the earth. During their lifespan, all three of Goldsworthy’s installations will stand as reminders of the history of the Presidio’s forest — planted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the US military — and as meditations on the relationship between the natural and the built environment.
Andy Goldsworthy draws his inspiration from a specific place and creates art from the materials he finds close at hand, such as twigs, leaves, stones, or snow. Working in locations as diverse as the Yorkshire Dales and the Australian Outback, the artist strives, in his words, “to make connections between what we call nature and what we call man-made.” Goldsworthy is known to many through the 2001 film Rivers and Tides. In addition to his installations in the Presidio, his works in the Bay Area include Stone River at Stanford University and Drawn Stone at the de Young Museum.