MAPLE BODY WRAP
North Carolina-based artist Patrick Dougherty has gained an international reputation for his natural-wood structures and has created hundreds of monumental, site-specific sculptures around the world. His work is constructed from saplings gathered from local sources and shaped into massive, swirling forms as high as 40 feet.
Combining his carpentry skills with his love of nature, Patrick began to learn more about primitive techniques of building and to experiment with tree saplings as construction material. His construction work began in the early 1980s, when he decided to buy property in North Carolina and build his own house from the materials on the site. Collecting fallen branches, rocks and old timber, Dougherty was able to construct his home in which, with a few additions, he and his family still live in. From his first sculpture, MapleBodyWrap, which was included in the North Carolina Biennial Artists' Exhibition his work quickly evolved from single pieces to monumental scale environmental works and he became an internationally acclaimed artist.
This interest in what nature had to offer led him to develop his unique artistic language. Of a tangled web of all natural materials his work ranges from tunnels for children to explore, a set of pointed objects that swirl like skirts in motion to a sculptured reference to the Tower of the Winds, a temple built in Athens in 50BC. Each project is different, depends on the materials found on the site, on the volunteers that participate and on the public that never fails to stop and watch the sculptures being woven together. But made of organic matter they all disintegrate, break down, fall apart and become part of the landscape once again.
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