On the way to the Mulvane Art Museum, I asked Anthony and Stuart about different fairy tales—who were the characters, what they did, how the story ended, and if there were special sayings they remember (like “The better to see you with, my dear”).
It was interesting to hear their version of the stories. We really fixated on the “Three Little Pigs” as I knew we were headed to see artwork made of sticks. I asked the boys about the pigs’ houses. Then I told them we would see something that looked like the second little pig’s house—houses made of sticks.
Patrick Dougherty from Chapel Hill, N.C. created a stickwork sculpture of saplings that (to me) resembles what the little pig’s dream house would be. It was built in November of 2009 and will be on display until November 2011.
Here’s how the Mulvane Art Museum described “Topiary with a Twist”:
Dougherty has made a name for himself worldwide with his towering outdoor sculptures fashioned from tree saplings. Since 1980, Dougherty has constructed more than 200 sculptures, making his mark in Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, England, France, Denmark, Austria, and all across the United States. Medium/Description: Elm and dogwood tree sapling sculpture, 17 feet high, 45 feet wide
He designs his arching, nest-like pieces to flow into their landscapes and surroundings—even using saplings from the very community where he builds the artwork.
The Mulvane Art Museum invited Dougherty to design and build an original, site-specific sculpture on the grounds of the museum. What resulted was a whimsical woven creation large enough for people to stroll through. The mighty masterpiece will last roughly two years before the saplings become brittle, at which time the materials will be returned to the earth.
You can watch the building process here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIzdryzlk8U
Current and upcoming sculptures: http://www.stickwork.net/news.php