The unusually bent, uprooted Cabbage Tree palm which will form the centrepiece of Wollongong City Council’s $450,000 public art project has arrived in Crown Street Mall.
The project will include “tree seats” made from other naturally misshapen palms and sandstone rock formations, with more than 200 tonnes of rock to be used.
According to artist Mike Hewson, the native palms have been specially selected for their shape, and will continue to grow by about a metre every 10 years.
The trees – which will also form part of a natural children’s playground – will remain uprooted once the project is fully installed.
At the start of the project’s installation last month, Mr Hewson said the hefty series of artworks “should just look like it’s off the back of a truck” and would spark mixed reviews.
“It’s quite complicated to make it sound like it will work, but that’s okay – it will be nice,” he said.
“We’re trying to help the mall function better, and break up the regularity of the poles and trees… and I think the children’s playground will be pretty amazing.
“It’s bringing the landscape into the mall into a fun way – just wait six weeks: I think it will provide identity-forming icons for the city.”