Right now, you can go visit an artwork in the form of a living redwood forest in downtown Brooklyn. A 4,500-square-foot oasis of calm, Lost Man Creek by Spencer Finch in collaboration with the Save the Redwoods League is a 1:100 scale recreation of a 790-acre protected, inaccessible section of California’s Redwood National Park. The work features 4,000 young dawn redwoods, which are native to China and can be found growing elsewhere in New York City as ornamentals. Planted in an irrigated landscape shaped to mimic the topography of the national park, the trees stand just 1 to 4 feet tall—miniature versions of California’s 98- to 380-foot trees.
“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, associate curator at Public Art Fund, which organized the installation. “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.”
Installed in October 2016, Lost Man Creek—which is fenced in—is on view at Brooklyn’s MetroTech Commons until May 13, 2018. After that, the trees will be “rehoused.”