Runnymede Sculpture Farm
This past weekend I was a sculpture docent at the Runnymede Sculpture Farm in Woodside. Runnymede (also written up here, with an interactive map of the property here) is a large private property with over a hundred outdoor sculptures; it’s rarely open to the public and then usually just for guests at fundraisers for non-profits.
This weekend’s event was the 50th anniversary celebration for the Committee for Green Foothills, an open space advocacy group on the peninsula. Personally, I hadn’t heard of the CGF, but the Student Conservation Association, who I have worked for in the past, was organizing volunteers and I jumped at the chance to see property. I don’t generally think of myself as a huge sculpture person, but I knew that Runnymede has an Andy Goldsworthy piece, and I’ve caught glimpses of some of the sculptures from the freeway on my way to Woodside, so it was on the list of Bay Area places I’d like to see. This actually makes enough sculpture posts to add sculpture as a sidebar category so maybe I’m more of sculpture guy than I thought.
I ended up being the docent for the Andy Goldsworthy piece on the property. I took photos of it, but there are a lot of them and it’s far from the first piece that you see on the property, so I’m going to post them separately in a few days. In the mean time, I have a bunch of other photos from the property, posted below.
I went up close and took a look inside the proverbial horse’s mouth to see how it was built. There’s a metal frame inside, with the stone mounted using mortar and bolts. I like how the drill scars on the stone are suggestive of teeth.
The same artist has another stone and wood piece nearby. It’s titled ‘Cage’ and I’m guessing that it is sort of thought of as as an abstract of the horse’s ribcage.
The other fun use of stone is with these gabions in human forms. Again, a little goofy but cool. The artist, Celeste Roberge, has some other interesting works that mix dry-stacked rock and furniture.
I like the ape sculpture made with cast concrete, but I did wish it was made with stone. I’m not ashamed of my bias.
Aside from the sculpture, the place is beautiful on its own merits, and the oak trees have some of the most impressive sculptural forms on the property. One sculpture, A Journey/A Place, seemed to be made out of the same posts used to support the limbs of this nearby oak tree. I don’t know the story with the tree, why it would be the one living tree on the property that was braced, but that spot on the property is called the picnic circle and there is an old wooden playhouse beneath the tree, so maybe it was a cherished tree a couple of generations ago. The picnic circle does indeed seem like a perfect place for a picnic.
Along with the living tree, there was also a dead one with braces still holding up the limbs. If I went back to more carefully photograph anything at the site, this tree might be it. Sometimes the only thing more impressively sculptural than a living tree is a deceased one.
The collection has a lot of large pieces made of steel. The Cor-Ten, especially, looked great with the trees. Cor-Ten might be getting a bit overused in contemporary landscapes these days, but it really does look great with our oaks and hills.
I’ll post the photos of the Goldsworthy in a few days.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 at 5:18 pm and is filed under sculpture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.