Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sticks Entangle Easily

From The Bascom in Highlands:

Patrick Dougherty Lecture, “Sculpture: Primitive Ways in an Accelerated World”
Saturday, August 1, 5 pm

A native of North Carolina, this sculptor with a worldwide following ( will discuss nature and his monumental sapling constructions. Preview the artist's ideas for a custom-made outdoor sculpture planned for The Bascom in June 2010. Dougherty has built over 150 large-scale, site-specific works throughout the United States, Europe and Asia!
$10 / Free to members

I discovered the vision and artistry of Patrick Dougherty a couple of years ago, and posted the following on January 23, 2007:

"Spittin' Image"
Clemson, 2001

Common Ground, the treehouse pictured in Grow Your Own Home was created by the sculptor Patrick Dougherty. Here's his story:

A master of stickwork, Dougherty crafted the structures in New Harmony, Indiana using hornbeam trees.

New Harmony, one of the most memorable places I’ve ever visited, was a great utopian experiment TWICE, and some of that spirit lives on. A likely setting for Dougherty’s art. After its completion in 2003, Common Ground became a New Harmony landmark.
Then on December 17, 2006 half of the stickwork structure caught on fire and burned. The entire work is coming down this month, and had already been scheduled for removal in the spring of 2007, even before the fire.

Dougherty grew up inspired by the North Carolina sandhill country:

My affinity for trees as a material seems to come from a childhood spent wandering the forest around Southern Pines, North Carolina – a place with thick underbrush and many intersecting lines evident in the bare winter branches of trees. When I turned to sculpture as an adult, I was drawn to sticks as a plentiful and renewable resource. I realized that saplings have an inherent method of joining – that is, sticks entangle easily. This snagging property is the key to working material into a variety of large forms. -Patrick Dougherty, Sculptor

And from 2008, here's an artist profile of Patrick Doherty:

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