Climb a Tree
Edited by Annie Block and Meghan Edwards -- Interior Design, 7/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
Thanks to Patrick Dougherty, nests needn't be for the birds. The sculptor's latest woven-twig creation opens July 24 at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Previous site-specific installations have graced the Atelier 340 Muzeum in Brussels, a Max Azria boutique in Los Angeles, the office of Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Oregon, and the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where he recently spent a month as artist in residence producing Bedazzler.
Like all Dougherty projects, the Kansas one began with a site visit to determine exact location, in this case a patch of lawn around a giant American elm. Then he and a group of volunteers—professors, students, locals—trolled a sustainable forest for maple and dogwood saplings. Extra-large saplings were stuck in the ground vertically; smaller ones were woven horizontally. "When I started this art form, I discovered what birds already knew," he notes. "Sticks have an infuriating tendency to entangle with one another. It's this simple tangle that holds my work together." No wire is ever required.