Spire and Wood Line by Andy Goldsworthy
In 2006, artist Andy Goldsworthy visited the Presidio and was inspired by the history and character of the historic forest. He saw an opportunity to create a sculpture with mature trees felled as part of ongoing reforestation efforts. Constructed in October 2008, Spire tells the story of the forest, celebrates its history and natural rhythms, and welcomes the next generation of trees. It is a poetic reference to the forest’s past; as new young trees grow up to meet the sculpture, it will eventually disappear into the forest. Spire is located on the Bay Area Ridge Trail near the Arguello Gate, west of Inspiration Point Overlook and north of the Presidio Golf Course Clubhouse.
In 2010, Andy Goldsworthy created the first phase of an outdoor art sculpture entitled Wood Line. Goldsworthy laid eucalyptus branches end to end on the ground to make a sinuous line that, in his words, “Draws the Place.” The wood was sourced from various Presidio projects which required tree removal, including Doyle Drive construction, environmental remediation, and habitat restoration.
Wood Line will deteriorate over time and is not conceived as a permanent addition to the Presidio landscape. The first phase of Wood Line is envisioned as a pilot project, allowing the artist to experiment with his approach to the work and provide the public an opportunity to experience and react to it.
Wood Line is nestled within the stand of eucalyptus between Lovers’ Lane and Presidio Boulevard.
Read a brochure describing Wood Line and Presidio reforestation.
Public Notice of Proposed Project
Summary of Public Comments
Summary of Art Panel Review
Public Notice of Presidio Trust Decision
About Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy was born in 1956 and spent his childhood in Yorkshire, England. Goldsworthy’s work has been made in the open air, in places as diverse as the Yorkshire Dales, the North Pole, and the Australian Outback. His works in the Bay Area include Stone River at Stanford University, made from the rubble left after the Loma Prieta earthquake, and Drawn Stone at the De Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, which also recalls San Francisco’s earthquakes and their effects.
Goldsworthy draws his inspiration from places and creates art from the materials found close at hand, such as twigs, leaves, stones, snow and ice, reeds, and thorns. The works made from these natural materials interact in different ways with their environments. The Presidio’s man-made forest is an evocative backdrop for the artist who strives “to make connections between what we call nature and what we call man-made.”
Spire recalls one of Goldsworthy’s earliest sculptures, Memories, also spires of mature trees, created in 1984 in the Grizedale Forest in the Lake District of North West England. “I have not found another great location for this type of work until now.”
Spire and Wood Line are organized through the FOR-SITE Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the creation, understanding, and exhibition of art about place, in partnership with the Presidio Trust.