WOOLLY LAIRS & Wild Fol­lies

Sus­tain­able Stick­work sculp­tor weaves re­mark­able art.

Country Sampler's Prairie Style - - Modern Pioneers - WRIT­TEN BY Kristin Joyce

Pa­trick Dougherty’s stick story tells a tale of in­cred­i­ble mea­sure. The artist, who sets forth from his hand-honed log cabin in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, trav­els in­ces­santly, cre­at­ing Stick­work sculp­tures fash­ioned in­tri­cately from thou­sands of woody sapling branches.

His wild lairs, fan­tas­tic fol­lies and ar­chi­tec­tural snares may nest, cocoon or weave among groves of trees; punc­tu­ate a meadow; or lash around city build­ings.

He is cel­e­brated the world over for his phe­nom­e­nal, tran­sient art and revered for cre­at­ing rustic beauty and in­her­ently sus­tain­able works that in­spire, de­light and sur­prise view­ers.

Pa­trick’s or­ganic sculp­tures use sim­ple ephemeral ma­te­ri­als, sourced lo­cally and in­cor­po­rated to re­flect the same life cy­cle as the sticks them­selves.

“Ul­ti­mately, my work dis­in­te­grates and fades back into the land­scape, be­com­ing mulch for new life,” he notes.

Pa­trick has rel­ished the ar­du­ous work, know­ing it also en­cour­ages a true sense of com­mu­nity. He trea­sures col­lab­o­ra­tions with craft coun­cils, tal­ented ar­ti­sans, en­thu­si­as­tic

“THERE IS AL­WAYS A pri­mal draw TO PICK­ING UP A STICK AND BEND­ING IT.”

vol­un­teers, and sup­port­ers in pri­vate to public or­ga­ni­za­tions. His renown spans over three decades, with nearly 265 unique com­mis­sions and no end in sight, given bookings that ex­tend now sev­eral sea­sons in ad­vance.

This spring, Pa­trick com­pletes his trib­ute to Greek ar­chi­tec­ture, sit­u­at­ing a “Tem­ple to the Winds” folly be­neath a mon­key­pod tree in a na­tional trop­i­cal botan­i­cal gar­den in Kauai, Hawaii.

When asked what he feels when cre­at­ing in this medium, he says, “There is al­ways a pri­mal draw to pick­ing up a stick and bend­ing it. Inklings of child­hood come full fo­cus, and then one feels aware­ness of a deep hu­man past.”

Though Pa­trick’s re­mark­able Stick­work is de­signed to fade within its land­scape over time, like the best works of art, his cre­ations leave an in­deli­ble mem­ory.

LEFT: En­vi­ron­men­tal artist Pa­trick Dougherty and a crew of some 300 vol­un­teers col­lab­o­rated to cre­ate “Lean

on Me,” a vis­ually po­etic clus­ter of wood struc­tures wo­ven from wil­low and iron­wood from saplings in the ar­bore­tum of Saint John’s Uni­ver­sity in Min­nesota. Photo by Thomas O’laughlin. ABOVE: Ex­otic straw­berry guava and rose ap­ple saplings span an im­pres­sive 20 feet long by 30 feet wide by 30 feet high to bid aloha as the “Na Hale ‘Eo Wa­iawi” in­stal­la­tion graces the en­try to The Con­tem­po­rary Art Mu­seum of Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo by Paul Kodama. RIGHT: Pa­trick Dougherty’s limited-edi­tion mono­graph, Stick­work, is writ­ten by Pa­trick him­self and con­tains over 200 pages of beau­ti­ful pho­tos, plus anec­dotes and in­sights into his meth­ods and his art.

ABOVE: Rustic royal fan­tasy in a splen­did “Sum­mer Palace” sits amid the lush Mor­ris Ar­bore­tum at the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia in Philadel­phia, Penn­syl­va­nia. “I love this

piece … it started as a so-called ‘snail shell’ in my gar­den and turned into a Dr. Zhivago fan­tasy. I will be work­ing with them again this spring 2015.” Photo by Rob Cardillo. OP­PO­SITE, TOP: Amus­ing “Ain’t

Mis­be­havin’ ” in­spires child’s play for all at Winthrop Uni­ver­sity in Rock Hill, South

Carolina. “The heads face off at var­i­ous di­rec­tions look­ing down the in­ter­sec­tions.”

Photo by Zan Mad­dox. MID­DLE: “Call of the Wild” cre­ates sharp con­trast tow­er­ing up­wards of 18 feet above the re­flec­tive pool at the Mu­seum of Glass: In­ter­na­tional Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Art in Ta­coma, Wash­ing­ton. “My sculp­ture used the re­flec­tive pool as a mir­ror­ing im­age in honor of the Mu­seum of Glass.” Photo by Dun­can Price. BOT­TOM: “Standby” greets trav­el­ers at Raleigh-durham

In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Raleigh, North Carolina. “I had to craft a piece of art to at­tract

view­ers but be sit­u­ated near a park­ing deck not to cause ut­ter chaos.” Photo by Jerry Blow.

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