The Willowman project

Floriade, Venlo, NL


The Willowman project, a six month site specific natural installation created by Will Beckers for the World Expo Floriade 2012, invited the visitor to take a new look at our natural world. The  project location was carefully chosen, hidden away in the forest of the grounds of the World Expo.  The public needed to venture off the beaten track to explore the forest, and come into contact with “The Willowman” himself and the natural environment he had created. 

This Land Art project took the form of a living environment where during the six month project, Will Beckers lived and worked in his own installation.  The challenge was to view nature in a completely new way, to reunite with the essence.

The public was forced to change gear, the high- tech effects vanish and are replaced by pure simplicity in direct contact with nature.

“My philosophy is a simple one,” says Beckers, “I respect Nature and what she has to offer us, I also know that we can learn an enormous amount from Nature, this is very often underestimated and overlooked in our modern, results driven society. This is precisely why “The Willowman” has a strong appeal to children. They are young enough to let their imagination run wild and be creative without having the constraints of society to worry about if this is allowed or not.”

The visitors to the Willowman project, upon entering the forest, became part of the installation which had taken on a life of its own and created its own identity. An identity of a self sustaining living environment which supported animals, who in turn fertilized plants growing on the forest bed. A cradle –to –cradle mini system was at work on a basic level and in a very innovative implementation.

The eco-land-art artist is thus challenging  our perception of the natural world. He wants to enter into a dialogue with the visitor by provoking reactions to his work. 

For more information on this project go to: