The Redwood Whale Forest Sculptures Project

The Redwood Whale Forest Sculptures Project

Huge redwood whale, calf, porpose sculpture with Mount Shasta background

“In the “Whale Forest Sculptures” I embedded my love of planet earth as a whole in her many aspects of creation. My desire is for these sculptures to be a symbol of
 planetary connection and inspire us to protect all endangered species, including plants, animals, and humans”

- Marcus von Skepsgardh, environmental artist

The History of the Whale Forest Sculptures

The “Whale Forest” is a family of life-size sculptures, including the “Humpback Whale and her Calf”, the “African Elephant” and the “Galapagos Turtle.” The origin of the sculptures dates back to the discovery, in 1994, of an ancient old-growth redwood log on the property of a defunct sawmill in Willits, California. The original 41 feet long, nine feet diameter log was salvaged by the artists. This log was transported to a workspace in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it was subsequently carved from this single log into the family of sculptures.

In 1995, rock concert promoter Bill Graham presented the Whale Forest during a 23 city tour known as H.O.R.D.E (Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere). The three sculptures were staged on a 40’ flatbed truck and exhibited during these events. The purpose was to bring about positive transformational change and environmental education by interacting with life-size, endangered species artwork.

The artists believe that the spirit of each salvaged tree, in its natural state, already knows what form it wants to assume. A whale, an elephant, a turtle… each log contains a unique potential, specific to that log. The grand creatures that materialized in these sculptures, speak from the trees, through the wood, to each of us, as the voice of the earth. Their message: “Be aware of the natural gifts we have been given. Appreciate these gifts. Protect them. Honor them.”

California’s magnificent Coast Redwoods are one of the world’s tallest and oldest known trees. Average mature trees, several thousand years old, stand from 200 to 240 feet tall and have diameters of 10-15 feet, and some trees have been measured at more than 360 feet. In the most favorable parts of their range, Coast Redwoods can live more than two thousand years. 

Contact for leases, installations or exhibitions.

For more information please contact the artist:

Marcus von Skepsgardh
email: inquiry @

Since their creation, Marcus has made these sculptures available to a variety of environmental events and organizations, including the non-profit he co-founded, “The PAL Foundation.  The PAL Foundation is a 501 c (3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising environmental awareness through interactive, educational artwork programs. We salvage trees from chippers, landfills and burn piles, recycling them into beautiful lumber, high-end furniture and sculptures. The organization started the San Francisco Bay Area’s first non-profit tree recycling yard in 1999 and successfully diverted over 2,000 tons of urban logs from the Bay Area landfills each year.