Born in 1945 and raised in the woodlands of North Carolina, Patrick Dougherty developed an appreciation for the utility of sticks during childhood play and became aware that sometimes a thicket of branches can achieve the effect of a natural drawing. Despite a career in health administration, he continued to pine for wild places, and in the early 1980s he tried his hand at weaving tree saplings into large three-dimensional sketches. In subsequent years, Dougherty has developed a body of work that seems to fly through trees, overtake buildings, and define, in his stand-alone structures, a kind of modern primitive architecture. He has made over two hundred sculptures around the world and currently lives in Chapel Hill with his wife, Linda, and his son, Sam.
Stickworkby Patrick Dougherty
Using minimal tools and a simple technique of bending, interweaving, and fastening together sticks, artist Patrick Dougherty creates works of art inseparable with nature and the landscape. With a dazzling variety of forms seamlessly intertwined with their context, his sculptures evoke fantastical images of nests, cocoons, cones, castles, and beehives. Over the last… See more details below
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Using minimal tools and a simple technique of bending, interweaving, and fastening together sticks, artist Patrick Dougherty creates works of art inseparable with nature and the landscape. With a dazzling variety of forms seamlessly intertwined with their context, his sculptures evoke fantastical images of nests, cocoons, cones, castles, and beehives. Over the last twenty-five years, Dougherty has built more than two hundred works throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia that range from stand-alone structures to a kind of modern primitive architecture--every piece mesmerizing in its ability to fly through trees, overtake buildings, and virtually defy gravity. Stickwork, Dougherty's first monograph, features thirty-eight of his organic, dynamic works that twist the line between architecture, landscape, and art. Constructed on-site using locally sourced materials and local volunteer labor, Dougherty's sculptures are tangles of twigs and branches that have been transformed into something unexpected and wild, elegant and artful, and often humorous. Sometimes freestanding, and other times wrapping around trees, buildings, railings, and rooms, they are constructed indoors and in nature. As organic matter, the stick sculptures eventually disintegrate and fade back into the landscape. Featuring a wealth of photographs and drawings documenting the construction process of each remarkable structure, Stickwork preserves the legend of the man who weaves the simplest of materials into a singular artistic triumph.
- Princeton Architectural Press
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