Living Willow Structures - Gallery

I have been engaged in building living willow installations since 2004. This work is an extension of my traditional willow basketry, in which I have been involved for over 20 years. I took several professional installation courses in England in 2005 and 2007. My installation work has been featured in the March 2006 issue of “House and Garden” magazine, the Fall/Winter 2006 issue of “Vogue Living” magazine and I was featured in a Willow segment on the PBS TV Cultivating Life show in Spring 2009.

Living willow structures are a very exciting art form. They provide immediate three-dimensional structure to an often void and boring space. They can be used for function, contemplation, play, barrier definition and sitting areas. They can be simple as in the form of a fence or dome and as complex as the imagination with multi level and height components designed around a site theme with a large use of interconnected structures. Large willow rods are pushed into the ground and then horizontal and diagonal willow components are interwoven to make a very strong “fedge” (fence/hedge). This building block can then be applied to living fence, domes, arbors, tunnels and buildings. Growth of the structure is immediate, providing a living classroom in school settings. My work to date, includes:

1
2004.
Willow Lodge (dome), Rogers Environmental Education Center, Sherburne, NY; 8 feet by 8 feet.
2
2004.
Two living arches, Cornell Cooperative Extension grounds, Norwich, NY; 15 feet by 5 feet.
3
2004.
Wee Willow Dome (dome and fedges), Riverside Park, Tunkhannock, PA; 12 feet by 7 feet.
4
2005.
Installation at artist residence (interconnected fedges, arch and dome), Norwich, NY; 20 feet by 20 feet.
5
2005.
Living fence and archway, Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School, Gwynedd Valley, PA; 33 feet by 4 feet.
6
2006.
Outdoor Living Room and fedges and arch at private residence, Amagansett, Long Island, NY; 14 feet by 14 feet and 35 feet by 5 feet.
7
2006.
Living fence and arch, West Chester Friends School, West Chester, PA; 33 feet by 6 feet.
8
2007.
Dome at the Susquehanna School, Binghamton, NY; 8 feet by 8 feet.
9
2007.
Living Cairn at private residence, Litchfield, CT; 13 feet by 9 feet.
10
2007.
Installation at the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier, Erie, PA with multi height interconnected components designed around the “LEAF” motive. Involves sculpture, arches, fedges and pathways. Funded by an Artist— and—Communities grant from MAAF; 50 feet by 30 feet.

Bonnie Gale Living Willow Structures


11
2008.
Living Penthouse Screen, Private Residence, New York City; 52 linear feet.
12
2008.
Living Library Book, Guernsey Memorial Library, Norwich, NY; 13.5 feet by 12.75 feet by 6 feet.
13
2008.
Two Living Pyramids (Cleopatra and Little Tut), Private Residence, New Berlin, NY; 4 feet square by 7.5 feet and 2.75 feet square by 6.5 feet.
14
2008.
Eagle motif with living arch and two sloping wings, Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Central School, Gilbertsville, NY; 25 feet by 11 feet.
15
2008.
Maze with two round turretted pathways and offset arches, ArtQuest (Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts), Wilber Mansion, Oneonta, NY; 11 feet diameter by 6.5 feet.
16
2008.
Living memorial structure for Mr. Simpson consisting of a star, moon walk, entrance arch and "S" walkway plus flower beds, Chenango Bridge Elementary School, Chenango Bridge, NY; 31 feet by 18 feet.

Bonnie Gale Living Willow Structures

17
2009.
Two living (forced grown in greenhouses) arches for the Central New York Flower Show, Syracuse, NY; 8 feet by 4 feet.
18
2009.
A series of tiered double living fences, potted structures and tunnel in the Willow Patch, Cazenovia, NY in conjuction with SUNY-ESF and Cazenovia High School students; several acres.
19
2009.
Capital "A" sculpture at Guilford Art Center, Guilford, CT; 6 feet by 5 feet tall.
20
2009.
Living Arbor; The Country School, Madison, CT; 9 feet diameter by 5 feet tall.
21
2009.
Several living arches at private residencies, Madison, CT; each 5 feet by 4 feet approximately.
22
2009.
Two living domes at private residence, Long Island, NY; each has 17 foot diameter.

Bonnie Gale Living Willow Structures

23
2010.
The Living Tree 1 created for CNY Blooms Flower Show in Syracuse, NY; 8 feet in diameter at base, 16 feet at widest diameter and 13 feet tall.
24
2010.
Two tunnels (10 feet and 25 feet) and an 8 foot dome for the Children's Learning Center, Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY.
25
2010.
Living Willow Room at a private residence on Long Island; 18 feet by 9 feet and 8 feet tall.
26
2010.
Living Mustang (school emblem) for Morris Central School, Morris, NY;  30 feet by 22 feet.

Bonnie Gale Living Willow Structures

27
2011.
Arbor at Otego Elementary School, Otego, NY; 12 feet wide by 6 feet tall.
28
2011.
Two living arches at Fayetteville Elementary School, Fayetteville, NY; each 5.5 feet wide and 7 feet tall.
29
2011.
Living Tunnel, Pierce's Park, Pier 5, Baltimore, MD; 47.5 feet long by 4.5 feet tall. (3 images)

Bonnie Gale Living Willow Structures 2011

30
2012.
Living Wall, Upper East Side, New York. 10 feet tall.
31
2012.
Butterfly Garden perimeter with two arches, Fayetteville Elementary School, Fayetteville, NY.
32
2012.
Arbor, OAOC (Otsego Area Occupational Center), Milford, NY.
33
2012.
Dome, Newark Valley High School, Newark Valley, NY.
34
2012.
Tunnel at Eden’s Mosaic development, Merrifield, VA.
35
2012.
Memorial Installation, SculptureFest 2012, Woodstock, VT 20 feet by 10 feet.

Bonnie Gale Living Willow Structures 2011

36
2013.
Living Walls, Sperryville, VA. 150 feet.
37
2013.
Tunnel, University of Chicago Lab Schools, Chicago, IL. 8 feet.
38
2013.
Garden Entrance, Andes Central School, Andes, New York. 15 feet.

Bonnie Gale Living Willow Structures

39
2015.
Living Gazebo, Chicago, IL; 11.75 feet in diameter by 7 feet tall.
40
2015.
Living Enclosed Walkway with Tunnels and Dome, Cotuit, MA; 50 feet in length by 9 feet in width varies.
41
2015.
Living Duomo Shell Structure, Staten Island Children’s Museum, Staten Island, NY; 14 feet in diameter and 8 feet tall.

42
2017.
Bonnie Gale worked with the Olin Studio to create the willow structure, part of Herba Potentia for A/D/O’s Design Academy in Brooklyn, New York; 30 feet by 15 feet and 8 feet tall. Please see link for further information: https://www.theolinstudio.com/news/




Sculpture Proposal by Bonnie Gale

Erie Installation 2007

In 2007, I was awarded a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation “Artist and Communities” grant to engage in a large scale community living willow installation, in conjunction with the Arts Council of Erie and the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park, Pennsylvania. Community groups were defined and a series of public meetings followed where the design of the installation was created. The design uses the “leaf” shape which is also the logo of the Lake Erie Arboretum, a partnering agency, where the installation is located. The design involves three heights of “leaf/leaves”; a central 12 foot sculptural monument, around which are a series of radiating 6 foot arches in the leaf shape. These arches open into 3 foot high double leaf walkways. There are also radiating curved pathways to the exterior of the installation which mirror the curve of the nearby stream and the “Mother Willow Tree” which is a central anchor in the park. The original conceptual design was 50 feet square, but after “real life” considerations, the installation size was reduced to 50 feet by 30 feet. The community then laid out and built the installation with live willow rods. There was an unveiling ceremony in July. A community pruning maintenance session occurred in September 2007.


Custom Design - Living Willow Structures by Bonnie Gale


For further information about Living Willow Structures by Bonnie Gale visit her website, Living Willow Structures of the Hamptons at www.livingwillowstructures.com and www.livingwillow.info.

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