Bending Sticks: The Sculpture of Patrick Dougherty
In a career spanning four continents and three decades, internationally acclaimed environmental artist Patrick Dougherty has created over two hundred majestic sculptures out of nothing more than saplings. This intimate portrait of an artist follows Dougherty and his collaborators during a year of “stickwork” revealing his creative process, his inspirations, his thoughts about the ephemeral nature of his work, and his unusual personal story. “Bending Sticks” explores how Dougherty’s projects invite collaboration and engage communities in the making and viewing of his art. The film also revisits Dougherty’s childhood where he developed his friendship with nature - years spent rambling through the woods with his four siblings, building forts and hideouts and rafts. He’s careful to cut saplings without hurting the forest and knows stick species intimately. Dougherty is a pioneer in the environmental art movement and his sculptures appear to have grown in place. It’s as if he invites nature to join him, to do these works with him and then he invites us to go inside the rooms he builds, inside the nests he makes.