Tree Fall

Tree Fall, Andy Goldsworthy Presido National Park, San Francisco, CA
Tree Fall, Andy Goldsworthy
Presido National Park, San Francisco, CA

Andy Goldsworthy, a British artist who uses nature to create his art, unveiled his newest installation on Oct 19 in the Presido National Park in San Francisco, CA. This piece, just like Goldsworthy’s other work, uses only objects and materials found in nature–in this case a felled tree, and clay derived from the surrounding land. Goldsworthy’s work asks us to take a closer look at nature, and the natural beauty that surrounds us. In an article for the Smithsonian Magazine in 2005, Arthur Lubow describes Goldsworthy as a “modern-day Impressionist” and parallels Goldsworthy’s fascination with the changing natural light and landscape with Monet’s. However what is equally fascinating about Goldsworthy’s work, and what Lubow notices as well, is the ephemerality of it. Often Goldsworthy’s work is only around for a few brief moments, just enough to be photographed, before being carried away by the wind or washed away by a tide. While Tree Fall is much less ephemeral than some of his other work, there is still an ephemerality to it. The clay crumbles and peels, and while perhaps the entire installation won’t be washed away, it will continue to go through it’s natural decaying processes. (There is also the imposed ephemerality of the installation only being open until Dec 1.)¬†Goldsworthy’s art has something very important to say about the ephemerality of our natural world, and also about the beauty of it. His work calls us to appreciate the world around us, and asks us to look no further for art than outside our own door.


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