By Patrick and Sam Dougherty
Sponsored by a Friend of McKee Botanical Garden
Internationally acclaimed artist, Patrick Dougherty, returned to McKee Botanical Garden for his second Stickwork installation in January 2020. Patrick, his son Sam, and a group of dedicated McKee Botanical Garden volunteers worked tirelessly for three weeks climbing on scaffolding, weaving, bending, trimming and shaping willow saplings into a one-of-a-kind sculpture made exclusively for McKee.
The new sculpture, which resides in the south end of the Royal Palm Grove, has been named Grand Central by Patrick.”It’s a more chaotic line in the midst of order among the stability of the regal Royal Palms. This work we love! It seems like maybe the best work we have ever made. It is big and takes over this entire grove. We like it because it turns the whole place beneath it into a kind of lounge . There are little cabanas that you can go in and take a look at with the idea of it speeding or whipping around within the space we have here. The sculpture in its entirety was directionalized so that it makes it look like it goes from one end of the grove to the other. We love the way that it crosses the top. Sam worked on the piping that runs along the whole edge of the top, which gives a sense of continuity to the entire sculpture. I hope you enjoy it, we have! “ stated Patrick.
Patrick and a team of volunteers constructed his first installation, The Royals over a three-week period in January 2016. The sculpture featured three tall towers nestled among the stately palms in the Royal Palm Grove. The Royals graced the Garden for two and a half years until succumbing to the weather and nature’s elements.
Patrick Dougherty’s nature-based sculptures are intended to interact with their surroundings, adding elements of whimsy and visual energy to familiar settings. Each installation is unique and temporary in its design, built from natural materials that eventually break down and become part of the landscape once again.
Patrick is extremely conscientious about environmental stewardship and hopes that his work will inspire others to care as well. No trees are killed outright in creating one of his sculptures. The willow saplings are harvested from a farm in upstate New York. The saplings he uses are cut in such a way that they will all regrow, much as they would after pruning. The sticks for the sculpture come from a willow farm where the stumps will regrow again and again to reproduce more saplings. When Patrick harvests in the wild, it is always done in areas where the sticks would be cut anyway, such as under power lines or along highway right of ways; sometimes where a forest needs to be thinned because the undergrowth is too thick and not all the small trees can survive that way.
For more information about Patrick Dougherty’s work, visit www.Stickwork.net.
Hours of Admission: Tuesday-Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday Noon to 5 pm. (The last admission ticket is sold at 4 pm). Closed Monday.
General Admission rates apply: $15 Adults, $13 Seniors, $10 Children ages 2-12. McKee members and children under 2 free.
Photos of ‘Grand Central’ by JPR Images
Star Suites by Riverside Theatre LLC
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Special thanks to Patrick, Sam and all of the McKee volunteers who worked so hard to make this beautiful masterpiece for all to enjoy!