North Western Brooklyn

4,000 Trees Grow in Brooklyn: Spencer Finch’s Public Art Installation, ‘Lost Man Creek’

Spencer Finch’s Lost Man Creek
Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER

Brooklyn-based Artist Spencer Finch’s Lost Man Creek is a re-creation of a 790-acre section of California’s Redwood National Park installed in Downtown Brooklyn. Working with the Save the Redwoods League, Finch scaled down the topography and tree heights to 1:100 for his outdoor art installation located at the MetroTech Commons (Myrtle Avenue between Jay Street and Flatbush Avenue).

Spencer Finch’s Lost Man Creek
Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER

Presented by the Public Art Fund and Forest City Ratner Companies, Finch’s living artwork measures 4,500 square feet and is populated with approximately 4,000 young Dawn Redwoods.

In a statement announcing the exhibition, Public Art Fund Director Nicholas Baume says of the artist, “For may 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.”

The actual trees in Redwood National Park range in height from 98 to 380 feet, taller than many of the MetroTech buildings. In Lost Man Creek, the trees range from one-four feet tall.

Spencer Finch’s Lost Man Creek
Viewing platform. (Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER)

A viewing platform located on the southeast corner of the installation allows visitors to view the greenery from above, while an undulating wooden wall surrounding the piece offers various perspectives of the mini-forest at ground level.

A special irrigation system was developed to maintain the trees through the duration of the exhibition and when it ends, the trees will be rehoused in another location. BKLYNER tried reaching out to Finch to learn where the trees will be relocated, but the artist is working on an upcoming project and was not able to respond.

Solar-powered ice cream from Spencer Finch’s Sunset. (Photo via creativetimenyc / instagram)

Originally from Connecticut, Finch explores perception and the natural world using precise measurements to re-create fleeting experiences of color and light. For Sunset (Central Park), a 2015 project with the public arts organization Creative Time, Finch presented an edible work inspired by a watercolor the artist painted of the sun setting in Central Park. He created soft-serve ice cream cones colored the pastel hues found in his painting and served them to lucky park visitors.

Spencer Finch’s Lost Man Creek
Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER

Lost Man Creek was organized by Public Art Fund Associate Curator, Emma Enderby, who says in the exhibition’s press release, “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.”

Spencer Finch’s installation My business is circumference runs through November 26 at the James Cohen Art Gallery, 533 West 26th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues) in Manhattan.

The Installation Rundown: Lost Man Creek by Spencer Finch
When: Through March 11, 2018
Where: MetroTech Commons (Myrtle Avenue between Jay Street and Flatbush Avenue).
How much: This is a free public installation.

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