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Monumental Dougherty

Monumental Dougherty
Credit: What the Birds Know, 2016. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA. Photography by Kathy Tarantola.
Monumental Dougherty
Monumental Dougherty

As an American sculptor for over thirty years, I have had opportunities to build on-site throughout the US and the world.  My website www.stickwork.net offers a good way to follow my work. 

Since I build on-site, my inspiration is often taken from the site itself or nearby architectural features or a passing remark overheard during my visit.  Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to walk inside one’s own shrubbery and to discover another world, to revisit our hunting and gathering past, to reconnect with Nature in our accelerated modern world.

Since I am an artist for hire, Montreal Botanical Garden staff approached me.  They visited when I was building in Nantes, France, and decided I would be a good fit for “Space for Life.”   I consider the Montreal Botanical Garden one of the most beautiful places in the world, so I was happy to say yes.

The plan is for me to build two signature pieces, one inspired by a Celtic knot and the other as an architectural folly.  The actual configuration of these two works will be determined as they proceed, as I am able to react, improve, and clarify my designs.  This way of relying on the creative moment requires a certain amount of faith in the artist’s ability to find compelling solutions and to maximize the potential of the site.

In addition to the two sculptures that will be Dougherty originals, my crew and I will simultaneously prepare the basic structure for a work for the public to weave.  This is a new experience for me and I hope that my organizing the framework will inspire the public in new and interesting directions.  I am looking forward to taking on this challenge and to working with the Garden staff and, in particular, to interacting with Montreal’s citizens. 

Visitors can contribute to the collective work from June 24 to September 4. Patrick Dougherty will be visiting the Botanical Garden in June and July. For dates and times of the artist's presence, please visit our website.

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