Austin Trip – Pease Park Willows

Willow Structures at Pease Park

After Zilker Botanical Garden, my grandma wanted to take me over to Pease Park to check out the willow structures called Yippee Ki Yaystickwork by Patrick Dougherty, an artistic weaver and sculpture using woody materials like willow and tree limbs.

Patrick Dougherty, a North Carolina-based artist, is known for creating whirling architectural sculptures from locally-harvested saplings. Dougherty and a team of over 200 Pease Park Conservancy volunteers constructed this site-specific installation using Baccharis neglecta (Roosevelt Weed) and Ligustrum, an invasive species, gathered in and around Austin. Yippee Ki Yay was privately funded by donations made to Pease Park Conservancy and was formally approved through the City of Austin’s Art In Public Places program.

Dougherty says of his inspiration for the sculpture, “We didn’t build a cathedral, instead we borrowed its corners,” referring to the Spanish-Colonial style architecture he encountered during his time in Austin. The sculpture consists of five repeated corner shapes that can be explored through the maze-like passageways they create and the multiple viewpoints from their many entrances and windows. With the title, he also gives a nod to Texas cowboy culture that is much beloved across our state. The installation will remain on view for several years before being dismantled to be used as mulch in the park.” — Pease Park Webpage

After we parked, grandma and I walked over to the Yippee Ki Yay structures and I walked around through them! They are massive art structures and as solid as a house!

This plaque provided some overview of the installation, using Baccharis neglecta (Roosevelt Weed) and Ligustrum, an invasive species, gathered in and around Austin. I was impressed with the amount of individuals involved with this process listed on side of the sign, numbering over 200+ people!

Here’s another view of the structure off from the side, which highlights the windows of these woven structures a little bit better.

These are some professional pictures from the Pease Park webpage, which show people of all ages enjoying the installation both day and night!


I felt a connection with these structures because I too built a woven structure back in Oregon at Lost Valley for my favorite little resident, Avery! So getting to see a woven structure for the community to enjoy was pretty awesome!

Patrick Dougherty’s work with natural materials is also pretty inspiring, seeing as his structures are in various locations across the world – connecting people to the possibilities of nature and art. It would be cool to see some more of his work in person again someday!






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