The Willowman

Hidden away in the forests of the Floriade the willow art project The Willowman represented the ideas of the Floriade for sustainable development.

The sustainability principles of the Cradle to Cradle philosophy were presented in the willow project in a very natural way. Through the simplicity of the project all visitors, children as well a adults, are reminded of the basic natural cycles or are brought into contact with them again. The Willowman was an unique natural experience in which art and education were brought together in a very accessible way.

The curiosity of the visitor and their urge to discover were awakened by the Willowman’s story and the artist’s permanent presence. The art objects in the willow village were given an identity and personality by The Willowman, The connection between art and nature is thus brought to life.

The workshops for children promoted creativity and a connection to nature in a fun way. The Willowman met all criteria for an experience such as described in the book The Experience Economy by B.J. Pine and J.H. Gilmore:

1. Entertainment
through a dialogue with the artist the project remained interactive and entertaining.

2. Education
through workshops with the artist and the natural art objects the project was educational.

3. Aesthetics
through the organic design of the willow sculptures and their harmonious integration in the forest, they had an unique appeal and aesthetics.

4. Escapism
secluded in the forest, far away from the flow of visitors, we could escape for a few minutes from the multitude of impressions of the Floriade and our everyday lives and concentrate on a complete nature experience.

Almost without exception the visitors of the Floriade were positive about The Willowman. This project was not only instructive but also very inspiring.

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