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Patrick Dougherty, Ballroom, Willow Nest, Melbourne, Federation Square, St. Paul's Cathedral, public art, environmental art, invasive species, willow, Australia, green design, green art, sustainable design, eco-design, eco-art,

For the Ballroom installation commissioned by the Federation Square Creative Program to promote public art at the 3.2 hectare mixed-use space near Melbourne’s busiest railway station, Dougherty turned to the nearby St. Paul’s Cathedral for inspiration. Apart from metal scaffolding that keeps the willow structure erect, the artist uses few tools to prunes and bend the malleable branches to his visionary will.

It took three weeks and 10 tons of willows to realize Ballroom, which features magical arched ceilings and celestial windows that permit just a smidgen of daylight to penetrate the interior. This particular piece on show until early 2013 helps the Australian government manage the arboreal pest in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and awe-inspiring.

+ Patrick Dougherty

Images via Creative Production Services