There is a certain etheral winding line that often surfaces in artist Andy Goldsworthy‘s work – If you’ve ever seen the documentary “Rivers and Tides,” visited the de Young Museum in San Francisco, or watched a snake move through the grass, you know the line. Last year this familiar form surfaced again in San Francisco as Goldsworthy created “Wood Line” – a winding trail of fallen Eucalyptus trees that gracefully curves through the forests of the Presidio.
The Presidio Park began as a military base, when soldiers planted an array of trees in the dunes of SF in a very short period of time. Now whole generations of trees are coming of age, crowding each other, and dying off, providing fodder for Goldsworthy’s grand sculptures. Before Wood Line he used a series of dead Cypress trees from the park to create Spire, a towering triangle of tree trunks. Now visitors to the park can catch a glimpse of several Goldsworthy sculptures within close distance of one another.
The Scottish artist’s work is famous for responding to place and nature. We’ve covered his response to local landscapes before. Like many of Goldsworthy’s artworks, Wood Line is designed to decay over time. As visitor after visitor succumbs to the urge to walk atop the series of sculpted logs, they will rot and shift, and the glorious curves the artist spent days and hundreds of man-hours building will come apart. But then, that’s part of the glory of the lines in the first place. They are a response to, a comment on, the landscape – but not an indelible mark that is meant to outlast man himself.