Patrick Dougherty works with sticks, entwining and tangling them together in order to make architecture-like works of art.
I believe Dougherty’s main focus is to communicate childhood–its innocence and pure joy and adventure–to his viewers.
His art certainly has a whimsical feeling to it, with the organic and fluid motion of most of his pieces. He also has made installations on buildings and I think that definitely communicates a feeling of freedom and adventure in places that don’t hold such fond feelings.
I think Dougherty is very successful is communicating his idea because I think the idea of a “treehouse” is often associated with childhood and the fluid feeling in his work reminds me of the blissful ignorance of childhood. Because Dougherty uses sticks as his medium, I think his idea is further communicated. He uses an imperfect item that is natural to communicate the idea of the unexpected adventure childhood is.
I really enjoy Dougherty’s work because of how he so fluidly integrates his work with the locations he chooses. I like the idea of using nature and natural items to build a work of art right back into nature. I also like the idea of using material that will break down over time. His works last about 2 years, which is long enough to seem permanent but also remind you that everything on Earth will decay eventually, which you get to see in his work.