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The Kid Should See This

Patrick Dougherty’s Stickwork: Woven tree sculpture time-lapse videos

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From a plain patch of lawn to an interconnected series of woven tree structures: See how 30,000 pounds of willow saplings, nearly 100 volunteers, and the direction of sculptor and environmental artist Patrick Dougherty can transform a space.

This Naples Botanical Garden time-lapse recorded the daily development of Sea Change (2021), a two-year installation.

Patrick Dougherty's Stickwork in Naples, day 3.
Dougherty’s large scale woven sculptures combine his sculpture and art history education with carpentry skills and his love of nature. “Over the last thirty-some years,” his bio chronicles, “he has built over 300 of these works, and become internationally acclaimed. His sculpture has been seen worldwide—from Scotland to Japan to Brussels, and all over the United States.”

Patrick Dougherty's Stickwork in Naples, day 13.
Below: Dougherty described his work in the narration of a time-lapse build video of a temporary installation in Asheville, North Carolina: Free As A Bird (2021).

“I always think a good sculpture is one that causes lots of personal associations, and you might think of a bird nest, you might think of birds that you’ve seen, or the turkeys you pass as you come into the garden, or of indigenous work—basket making, furniture making—and so all of those are traditions that people tend to spark on when they take a look at this work.

“For me, it’s kind of like a large-scale drawing. You know we’re using these sticks for their association with the woods, but also for lines with which to draw. And many of the exciting surfaces that we’re creating are just more or less drawing techniques that we’ve played out in a large way.”


Stickwork, Dougherty’s monograph, is a TKSST favorite.

Watch more Patrick Dougherty videos in this 2015 post: Patrick Dougherty’s Stickwork in Salem and Sausalito.

Plus, watch these related videos:
• House of a Thousand Knots: The Bentwood Architecture of Orma Women Builders
Nomadic Nenet people build a chum (yurt) in the Siberian Arctic Winter
• An 18th-century No-Nails Survival Shelter
• Weaverbirds design and build intricate nests


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