Artist Andy Goldsworthy Uses Rammed Earth Works for Newest Art Installation / by Watershed Materials

Rammed Earth Works is thrilled to have worked with renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy on his most recent installation in the Presidio, called Earth Wall. The piece is Andy's fourth for the For Site Foundation, following “Spire” (2008), “Wood Line” (2011), and “Tree Fall” (2013).

“We’re looking at a wall made from earth from the Presidio and embedded in the wall is a ball of branches and earth that appears to have been excavated out of the wall,” Andy says. “The branches have the appearance of having been there for an awful long time, and that was a very strange thing because you’re always trying to see your work outside yourself, and it looks like I dug something up from a long time ago that I hadn’t even put there, so it was a real process of discovery for me, as I hope it will be for other people.”

Andy digs out a ball of gnarled eucalyptus branches embedded inside a rammed earth wall.

Andy digs out a ball of gnarled eucalyptus branches embedded inside a rammed earth wall.

Andy selected rammed earth as the medium around the twisted branches to give the appearance of the eucalyptus having been buried under layers of earth deposited and compacted over a long period of time. The rammed earth “simulated layers of earth laid down over time, as if the layers were made as sedimentary layers. We did in a day what nature would have deposited and compacted over thousands of years” says Khyber Easton of Rammed Earth Works.

“Prior to this Andy Goldsworthy project, Rammed Earth Works had always been building structural walls. Now artists are asking to build aesthetic, conceptual projects. This Goldsworthy project highlights conceptual aspects of rammed earth and legitimizes rammed earth as a medium of art, not just structure.”

Rammed Earth Works is thrilled to have worked with Andy on such a timeless piece. Below is a short video via The Presidio of San Francisco followed by a series of production images detailing the installation of Andy Goldsworthy's Earth Wall at The Presidio.

Eucalyptus branches from the Presidio installed before the formwork for the rammed earth wall is installed.

Eucalyptus branches from the Presidio installed before the formwork for the rammed earth wall is installed.

Formwork for the rammed earth walls installed, locally sourced Presidio earth mixed and poured into the forms, and ramming begins. Rammers carefully compact earth around the twisted ball of  Eucalyptus branches.

Formwork for the rammed earth walls installed, locally sourced Presidio earth mixed and poured into the forms, and ramming begins. Rammers carefully compact earth around the twisted ball of  Eucalyptus branches.

Some passion filled earth ramming.

Some passion filled earth ramming.

Rammers have reached the top of the rammed earth wall that surrounds the now buried eucalyptus branches.

Rammers have reached the top of the rammed earth wall that surrounds the now buried eucalyptus branches.

Formwork is removed revealing a freshly packed rammed earth wall and the center point of the ball of gnarled eucalyptus branches. Both the raw earth for the rammed earth wall and the eucalyptus wood was sourced from the surrounding Presidio.

Formwork is removed revealing a freshly packed rammed earth wall and the center point of the ball of gnarled eucalyptus branches. Both the raw earth for the rammed earth wall and the eucalyptus wood was sourced from the surrounding Presidio.

Artist Andy Goldsworthy poses with the installation before beginning to dig out the earth surrounding the encased eucalyptus wood.

Artist Andy Goldsworthy poses with the installation before beginning to dig out the earth surrounding the encased eucalyptus wood.

Detail of the rammed earth wall.

Detail of the rammed earth wall.

Artist Andy Goldsworthy poses with the installation before beginning to dig out the earth surrounding the encased eucalyptus wood.

Artist Andy Goldsworthy poses with the installation before beginning to dig out the earth surrounding the encased eucalyptus wood.

Detail of the rammed earth wall.

Detail of the rammed earth wall.

Artist Andy Goldsworthy excavates the rammed earth from around the gnarled eucalyptus wood.

Artist Andy Goldsworthy excavates the rammed earth from around the gnarled eucalyptus wood.

Detail of the buried then revealed eucalyptus branches surrounded by a rammed earth wall.

Detail of the buried then revealed eucalyptus branches surrounded by a rammed earth wall.

Rammed Earth Works' Khyber Easton and artist Andy Goldsworthy.

Rammed Earth Works' Khyber Easton and artist Andy Goldsworthy.

Artist's quotes sourced from this SF Gate article.