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Patrick Dougherty’s Twig Sculptures

North Carolina-based artist Patrick Dougherty has gained an international reputation for weaving tree saplings into massive, swirling forms that resemble bird nests as high as 40 feet. His sculptures are temporary, owning to the nature of the materials used, and break down after a year or two in the wild.

A post-graduate in Hospital and Health Administration, Patrick started studying art history and sculpture at the University of North Carolina, where he began learning about primitive techniques of building, and applying his carpentry skills with his love of nature started to experiment with tree saplings as construction material. His first artwork was his house. Collecting fallen branches, rocks and old timber, Dougherty built a villa where he still lives with his wife and son. Incidentally, his house is his only permanent work. Over the last thirty years, he has built over 230 of these works, that have been seen worldwide---from Scotland to Japan to Brussels, and all over the United States.

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