‘Bending Sticks’ is inspirational
Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 20:09
The feature-length documentary “Bending Sticks: The Sculpture of Patrick Dougherty,” was an intimate look into the career of Patrick Dougherty. The artist from Orange County, N.C., spent his childhood building forts in the woods from sticks.
This inspired his career after he left college and transformed his artwork in to what you see today. The artist is renowned and has built sculptures all over the world including Dublin, Tokyo and Holland.
The sculptures are site-specific and are very public giving people the ability to watch the process and even involved. Dougherty relies heavily on the community to get involved as volunteers to help construct the sculpture itself; his process requires this.
The film gave great insight as to Dougherty’s process which involves scouting the site on which the sculpture itself is going to be as well as scouting the local trees to know what kind of sticks he will be using. He then returns to sculpt his vision for the space.
Spending no more than three weeks working on a sculpture, Dougherty must have the help of volunteers. He spends a great deal of time talking to mesmerized passers-by who stop to gaze upon the art being built.
Taking time to become engaged with the community to help drive his vision and to create a repertoire with the art and the community as well.
The pieces that he assembles are left in the weather and are time-limited for viewing, this being something that Dougherty fully understands and feels is part of the allure of his work.
“Part of my work’s allure is its impermanence, the life cycle,” he said. “My focus has always been the process of building a work and allowing those who pass to enjoy the daily changes.
“[There is] drama in building a sculpture as well as the final product. Often the public imagines that a work of art should be made to last, but I believe that a sculpture, like a good flower bed, has its seasons.”
This is something that can only be understood by viewing the beautiful pieces that he builds.
After watching the film, viewing his work and process, I believe that the addition of his site-specific sculpture will be a great addition to any place.
A viewer of the film gets a sense that the process brings a community together with a piece that is unique to that community, as well as the added benefit of community members working on the project with the artist.
I think that his sculpture will be a great addition to campus and cannot wait to view it myself.