NYC’s concrete jungle is now home to a little slice of California’s Redwood forests. Installed in partnership with the Public Art Fund and Forest City Ratner Companies, Spencer Finch‘s Lost Man Creek recreates a 790-acre section of Redwood National Park in the middle of Downtown Brooklyn’s bustling MetroTech Commons using 4,000 baby Dawn Redwood trees.
Lost Man Creek transforms a 4,500-square-foot section of the eastern lawn at MetroTech Commons into an undulating miniature forest. A 1:100 scale recreation of an actual section of Northwest California’s Redwood National Park, the living installation comprises thousands of Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) trees ranging from one to four feet in height. Dawn Redwoods are the shortest of all redwood trees, and adult specimens can grow to be 70- to 100-feet tall.
“Lost Man Creek reflects Finch’s fascination with activating the imagination through observation of natural phenomena,” said Public Art Fund Director and Chief Curator Nicholas Baume in a press statement. “For many years he has explored the ineffable qualities of our ever-changing natural world through wide-ranging mediums, but this is his first use of living trees.”
While the trees in the installation range from one- to four-feet-tall, the trees in the actual Redwood forest soar up to 380-feet tall, making them taller than the buildings that make up MetroTech Commons.
The living, growing installation offers several different viewing experiences depending on the vantagepoint of the beholder. From afar, it looks like a bushy outcropping at the center of the Commons, while a closer look reveals a habitat teeming with local sparrows. An elevated wooden deck allows the “forest” to be seen from above, showing off its various levels.
The staggered tree heights seen throughout the installation reflect the actual topography of the portion of forest they are modeled after. Finch worked closely with the Save the Redwoods League to accurately shrink down the gargantuan 790-acre bundle of protected landscape to fit into a mere 4,500 square feet.