Contemporary Art Museum,Hawaii, 2003
Born in 1955, this nature loving sculptor likes to tell people that his original work of art was the house he built from old barn timber, fallen trees and rocks he dug up from the ten acre site in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA, where this rangy log villa, once just a single room cabin, is located. As he tells it, this is his only permanent work, because most of his innovative sculptures break down after a year or two.
Raliegh-Durham Airport Authority, North Carolina,2000
Now 65 years old, Patrick was only 28 when he bought this site for $10,000. He had apparently made up his mind to being a log-cabin frontier type of person, whose dream dream was to build a house. At the time, he was unaware of the underlying drive toward sculpture.
Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington, 2002
Aged 36, he took it upon himself to return to school, enrolling into the graduate art program at the nearby University of North Carolina. A man-size tangle of saplings made on a picnic table was his very first sculptural stickwork, and it had his tutors rendered speechless because it was so good.
Decordova Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts, 1990
All of his pieces are fashioned from twigs, branches, saplings and sticks, every individual sculpture designed and created without any kind of support materials, the results becoming creations that might easily have been so shaped by fickle winds over many years. Aptly enough, ‘Stickwork’ is the name which covers thirty-eight of incredible works, which all seem to sit comfortably across the boundaries between architecture, landscape, and art.
University of Southern Indiana, 2003.
Over the last 25 years, Patrick Dougherty has created over two hundred astounding artworks in the United States, Europe, as well as Middle East, from stand-alone sculptures of the highest quality to those which adorn buildings, challenging the forces of gravity. His superb installations have been seen indoors, outdoors, in both public and countryside areas, on college campuses and in museums all over the world.
Morris Arboretum at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 2009
Patrick is excellent at story-telling, and because each piece takes at least three weeks to make, he often has a captive audience, fascinated by the efforts of whatever team of volunteers have shown up. They are inevitably new to stickwork, and Patrick oversees them with all the enthusiasm of a scout leader at camp. He is renowned for his patience, always willing to chat with spectators about the work in progress.
Jardin des artes Chateaubourg, France 2008
Commenting on the way he and others see his work, Patrick said.
“The idea of developing the grounds so there’s a sculpture park where people can have conversations with artists is great. People talked with me while I was working, and that gave them a real sense of the work ethic you have to have to be an artist. Just seeing someone physically making art is really educational. Sticks are something we all have in common. Everybody knows sticks – the twigs and branches picked up on grandfather’s farm; the branches woven in grandmother’s basket. Somewhere threaded in all the public mass is a common thread, and that thread is the human spirit.”
Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio, 2006
His works are stunning and so tactile. Children play within his massive structures, and he wants onlookers to commune with the materials from which his wonderful works are constructed, because that way they truly appreciate his message. As land artists go, this prolific friend of the environment has to be among the very best. Patrick Dougherty, pioneer of the green art movement. What a magical talent he is.
Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute, Utica, New York 2001