Internationally renowned artist creating living sculpture

January 16, 2012 8:46:46 PM PST
An internationally renowned artist is creating a sculpture at the Bay Area Discovery Museum that is an imaginative use of nature that mirrors the environment.

Patrick Dougherty's first sculpture at the Discovery Museum stood for 7 years and was visited by 2 million children and grownups. This time the living sculpture is a willow.

"We like a look of natural phenomenon so it doesn't look manmade," Dougherty said.

Like willows succumbing to a breeze.

Dougherty starts with a sketch, lays out the footprint of the design, but with the assistance of volunteers a lot of the work is simply ad lib.

"There's a certain illusion of freedom and play, a sense of excitement in architecture where you see uncharacteristic bends and this it can really feel enlivened," Dougherty said.

The sculpture will stay up for a long time, but most of his work is always meant to be temporary. But Dougherty likes making it and he's resigned to its inevitable demise.

The outdoor installation is still under construction. It'll take three weeks to finish. The grand opening of the living willow sculpture is Friday, Jan. 27.