Forest of Steel

Private Residence | Napa, CA | Steel | 15 I-Beams @ 10'-14'H x 10"W x 4"D, distributed on a site measuring 30'W x 40'L | 2020


Several years after the Northern California fires of 2017, some of the most destructive wildfires in California history, healing has begun. In September 2019, the owner of a private Soda Canyon property that sustained damage during the 2017 Atlas fire approached Gordon to commemorate the immeasurable impact of the wildfires and the loss suffered.

Using materials salvaged from the fires’ aftermath, Gordon created an art installation that offers a place of contemplation and honors the owner’s personal loss while also reflecting on the sacrifices of the greater Napa Valley. Decidedly echoing Huether’s 9/11 Memorial in downtown Napa, which is comprised of steel beams from the wreckage of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, this installation features 15 scorched i-beams anchored vertically and spaced in a slowly expanding pattern. This orientation presents a powerful reference to standing alone, yet within a group. It is a reflection of “individual, to group, to world consciousness”, says the property owner who commissioned the work. “Our fire to separate and unite”, she states.

In early January 2020, the property owner presented this installation as a surprise gift to her husband, commemorating the site that once held a barn where they would entertain friends and family, including the wedding of their youngest son.

“We feel privileged to have been chosen to portray such love and devotion” stated Gordon. “The fires were a devastating time for all of us and I’m glad I could ease the suffering for at least one family, in addition to creating a memorial for all others.”