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Nature as Art

Naturalist sculptor Patrick Dougherty bring his enchanting creations to Naples Botanical Garden.

BY November 1, 2021
Na Hale 'O Waiawi stick sculpture
Courtesy Patrick Dougherty/Paul Kodama [“Na Hale ’Eo Waiawi” by Patrick Dougherty (2003)]

It starts as a pile of sticks and ends as a work of art. North Carolina-based artist Patrick Dougherty has spent the past 40 years bending, twisting and intertwining sustainably harvested willow saplings into Byzantine environmental structures. His creations have been displayed everywhere from the grounds of a French castle to the Smithsonian American Art Museum—and now, “Stickwork” at Naples Botanical Garden. Installation for the interactive exhibit begins this month. Dougherty, his son and 60 volunteers spend more than 500 hours over three weeks weaving the saplings into whimsical forms large enough for a person to walk through. The show, which opens later this month, runs through 2023. 

Patrick Dougherty with Homegrown, his stick sculpture installation at the NC Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill.
(Photo by Briana Brough)

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