Melbourne readers may remember seeing Patrick Dougherty’s work spring to life in a nook of Federation Square in 2012. The construction, affectionately referred to as the ‘Ballroom’, was something between rustic and majestic. Those lucky enough to have encountered it, or any Dougherty piece, will attest to the reverie-inducing quality of his creations.
The veteran artist is famous for blending sculpture and architecture through the medium of willow wood, and his latest project does so with typical aplomb.
The people at Tippet Rise Art Centre, an 11,550 acre cattle ranch / art and music space in Montana, asked him to do something transformative with an 18th century schoolhouse on the property, and do something he did. Painstakingly shaped sticks and twigs, sourced from the area, now encompass the building, winding in, out and around its weatherboard frame. The result is a strange, haunting spectacle – as if a spell has drawn ancient limbs from the earth to lovingly hold a little piece of human history.