Patrick Dougherty's Lookout Tree
Internationally-acclaimed environmental artist Patrick Dougherty visited Turtle Bay to create a site-specific sculpture over a three-week residency period (March 2 - March 21, 2008) in the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay. The local environment inspired the sculptural installation and willow harvested from the area was used in its creation. The artwork involved the help of Turtle Bay staff and community volunteers, while the public watched the creation of the artwork. The sculpture remained at Turtle Bay for two years, enhancing the beautiful setting of the Gardens, before it came down in December 2010.
About the artist
Combining his carpentry skills with his love for nature, Mr. Dougherty began to learn more about primitive techniques of building and to experiment with tree saplings as construction material. In 1982 his first work, MapleBodyWrap, was included in the North Carolina Biennial Artists’ Exhibition sponsored by the North Carolina Museum of Art. In the following year, he had is first one-person show entitled, Waiting It Out In Maple at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His work quickly evolved from single pieces on conventional pedestals to monumental scale environments which required saplings by the truckloads. During the last two decades, he has built over 150 works through the United States, Europe and Asia.
Mr. Dougherty and his work have been the subject of articles by Sculpture Magazine, American Craft, Smithsonian Magazine, Associated Press and Dwell.
Visit Patrick’s site at www.stickwork.net
Lookout Tree Opening
Watch video from the opening of The Lookout Tree in the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Mr. Dougherty speaks about the creative process. Video provided by Belongie Entertainment. To see more, visit www.shastapodcaster.com.
Working with the artist
Mount Shasta artist Jack Shaw spent three weeks in March, 2008, working with Patrick Dougherty in the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens to complete The Lookout Tree. Following are some of his thoughts on working with Mr. Dougherty.
"When Turtle Bay asked me to be Patrick Dougherty's assistant on this sculpture I immediately recognized the great opportunity and honor of working on a sculpture of international significance. Working with Patrick was my first in-depth experience with creating temporary sculpture. His use of willow saplings in contrast with materials I'm more familiar with, stone and bronze, has given birth to a number of ideas where using materials of different life spans will allow me to explore many potential artistic analogies and concepts. My inclusion as Patrick's assistant shows Turtle Bay's ongoing commitment to support local and regional artists. This commitment is a quality worthy of continued regional and community support for Turtle Bay. I'm proud to have been part of this project and excited to employ the lessons I have learned from it." - Jack Shaw