Spencer Finch To Bring a Forest to Brooklyn

Photo: Micah Bozeman. Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY.

Photo: Micah Bozeman. Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY.

790 acres of the Redwood Forrest are coming to Brooklyn this fall—at a 1:100 scale.

Today the Public Art Fund, partnering with Forest City Ratner Companies, announced “Spencer Finch: Lost Man Creek,” a new public sculpture to be installed at MetroTech Commons in downtown Brooklyn. For the work, Finch is recreating the topography of a specific section of California’s Redwood Forest, using nearly 4,000 Dawn Redwood trees to do so.

Finch’s trees will range from one to four feet in height — a fraction of their California counterparts — and the project will cover 4,500 square feet of the triangular park at Metrotech Commons. For the trees to live healthily in such a foreign environment, the Brooklyn-based artist had to design a special planting and irrigation system. Adjacent the mini-forest will be a viewing platform, where visitors can see the work from above, providing a much different perspectival experience than the one you get in the wilderness.

Indeed that’s what interests Finch, whose work often deals with man’s relationship to the wonders of nature. “Through both a scientific approach to gathering data —including precise measurements and record keeping—and a poetic sensibility, Finch’s works often inhabit the area between objective investigations of science and the subjectivity of lived experience,” said Emma Enderby, the curator of the project, in a statement.

“In a world where climate change is at the core of societal debates, Finch’s installation in the heart of one of the most urbanized neighborhoods of the city presents us with the universal reality of nature’s power to awe and inspire, and the importance to remember and protect such wonders.”

Finch is no stranger to major public installations in New York. In 2014, he created “A Certain Slant of Light” at the Morgan Library and Museum, where he created a colorful calendar of window light in the the museum’s court. He was also commissioned to create work for the National September 11 Memorial Museum, for which we painted and displayed 2,983 individual cards with different shades of blue—one for each victim of the tragedy.

“Spencer Finch: Lost Man Creek” opens to the public October 1, 2016, and will be up for May 13, 2018.

— Taylor Dafoe (@tddafoe)