Environmental artist Patrick Dougherty will create a site-specific work on the front lawn of the Academy starting Feb. 6. In just over two weeks, the North Carolina-based artist will twist and weave tree saplings to create large, organic sculptures. The surrounding environment and its given materials play a significant role in shaping his sculptures and in this case, his work will draw from the architectural elements of the Academy’s historical building and grounds.
In 2005, Dougherty used strawberry guava saplings to fashion a sculpture that wound sinuously around the giant monkeypod tree on Spalding House’s lawn. This time, O‘ahu artist and landscape architect Leland Miyano helped Dougherty harvest materials such as strawberry guava and ash from Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Gardens.
Dougherty combines his carpentry skills and his love and knowledge of nature to create whimsical, elegant woven masses that often relate to architectural structures or even evolve into cocoon-like organic vessels. He began working on simple structures in 1980s and since then has created more than 200 sculptures around the world.