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Floristry students help sculpt Stickwork in Federation Square

22 Mar 2013

Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) floristry students have helped to create the Australian premiere of Patrick Dougherty's latest sculpture, Stickwork in Federation Square. The sculpture was unveiled on Tuesday 23 October and took three weeks to construct.

Federation Square and Creative Production Services commissioned the piece by Dougherty to celebrate Fed Square's 10th birthday and put a call-out for volunteers. When NMIT Floristry teacher, Renae Monument discovered that there were plenty of floristry students keen to help, she created a roster of Certificate II and Certificate III floristry students.

“There were four layers of scaffolding and for the first day we just lugged sticks around Fed Square”, laughs Monument. “But after a week, we all had a role to play, everyone was involved.”

More than ten tonnes of willow was twisted and woven into shape using just gloves and a pair of secateurs - not a bad way to use one of Australia's most pervasive weeds. The project was sponsored by Melbourne Water, which supplied willow cleared from water catchment areas and Cricket Willow, a family business who have been making cricket bats for more than 100 years.

Dougherty's initial inspiration came from a visit to the Indigenous collection at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia but the shape of the sculpture was inspired by the architecture of Flinders Street Station and St Paul's Cathedral. Dougherty has now affectionately named this Stickwork, 'Ballroom'.

“It's very sturdy”, says Monument, “and people will be able to walk in and out of it for months”.

Stickwork will be open to the public and the elements until early 2013.

Where: Flinders Street Amphitheatre, Federation Square
When: Daily until early 2013
Price: Free


Interview/photo opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Coordinator, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on six campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north plus a regional campus at Ararat, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.