Patrick Dougherty at Honolulu Museum of Arts

Patrick Dougherty was recently on Oahu at the Honolulu Museum of Art – which recently changed names from the Honolulu Academy of Arts – from February 6th to the 24th creating a seven piece sculpture called Footloose.


The North Carolina-based artist and volunteers harvested strawberry guava saplings from Ho’omaluha Botanical Garden to use for the sculpture. After harvesting all of the saplings had to be stripped, twisted, and woven to create the giant organic sculpture. Dougherty takes into account the materials he is working with, as well as the surroundings when he creates his sculptures; at the Honolulu Museum of Art he took inspiration from the historical building’s architectural elements and grounds.

About Patrick Dougherty

Patrick Dougherty is from North Carolina, and started doing his sculptures in the 1980’s. He began making these very beautiful and unique sculptures when his love for carpentry and nature began to intertwine. Taking skills from primitive building techniques and experimenting with tree saplings as the construction material is what ultimately got him started. In the early 80’s small works in his back yard quickly grew to monumental site-specific installations requiring truckloads of saplings. To date he has created over two hundred structures at locations across the globe.

Dougherty and Hawai’i

Footloose is not Patrick Dougherty’s first sculpture in Hawai’i. It seems that this artist has a fondness for the tropical islands, but how can you blame him? In 2005 Dougherty also used the invasive strawberry guava saplings to create a structure that rose from the monkeypod tree on Spalding House’s lawn at the Honolulu Museum of Arts. Also during September of 2011 Dougherty spent some time on Maui at Hui No’eau where he created On the Wild Side to coincide with the art center’s new public program Ho’ololi: The Environmental Art Garden.

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