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Daniel McCormick, Willow Basket Sculpture, Olema Creek Watershed, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Point Reyes, CA, 2006.

Daniel McCormick

A former student of James Turrell with a degree in environmental design from UC Berkeley, Daniel McCormick specializes in erosion control and watershed restoration sculpture. Often with the help of volunteers and schoolchildren, McCormick weaves elegant basket forms using green willow and materials he finds on site and places them directly into eroded gullies and riverbanks.

The sculptures are strategic interventions designed to "fit into the curves of the streams and gullies where they fill with leaves and twigs, collecting sediment that would otherwise suffocate the salmon and steelhead eggs in their spawning areas." McCormick works mostly in in Marin County, California with students, the National Park Service, and the County.

His sculptures and sketches are exhibited in galleries and museums, yet the pieces themselves are created to live outside where they eventually take root, collect sediment and "gradually disintegrate, returning to the earth." In the process, they contribute to stabilizing riverbanks, restoring water quality and enhancing fish spawning grounds. McCormick's inspiring eco-art is the result of effective collaboration with watersheds, the local community, and public land managers.


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