The sculpture installations by Patrick Dougherty Combine carpentry skills with natural elements, inspired by primitive techniques of building and an expanded process of experimentation with tree saplings as construction material. The result is a large-scale environmental project accessible to a diverse audience. The sense of playfulness and amazement is clear when the viewer observes these large-scale sculpture installation, that is environmentally friendly and sustainable in its construction and upkeep. The projects are site-specific as they adapt to the location in terms of volume and height and adopt the natural elements available in the region. In the case of “A Bird in the Hand,” it occupies a space of approximately 50’ X 30’ and 14’ tall in a central plaza in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, a place that people across ages frequently visit because the plaza host an extensive playground. The construction is based on ash, hickory, red maple, oak, and willow saplings. The willow saplings are weaved to give life to the sculpture. It is an essential part of the project the interaction with the public. Community volunteers assist in every aspect of the project, with the collection of saplings and the creation of the work itself by interweaving willow saplings, in a process that feels organic and streamlined.
Through the sculpture installation “A Bird in the Hand,” Patrick can interpret a sense of amazement and playfulness. The work is also environmentally friendly as only natural materials are used, which is very significant to Patrick’s concept of fleeting and ephemeral nature of every project, as it naturally decays after an average of two years as it becomes a passage like childhood.
All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.