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Head Over Heels

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by Patrick Dougherty

Head Over Heels by Patrick DoughertyCreation: April 2017
Medium: Woven Willow and Red Twig Dogwood branches
Discipline: Sculpture
Dimensions: Seven large faces with 60’ X 30’ footprint and 18’ tall
Location: Orenco Woods Nature Park
Exhibition: Temporary, 2 – 4 year lifespan


“This work consists of seven large faces that peek out from both sides of a line of old growth Douglas fir trees. Initially inspired by masks and totems of Northwest indigenous peoples, they morphed during the building process into caricatures of human surprise. The arrangement of elements corrals the trees and creates among them a room of ancient tree trunks, thick and luxurious. Perhaps this invitation to rub shoulders with the craggy bark of such oldsters is the best part of the work.  At the last minute, a hint of the heads of Easter Island statuary emerged as we fitted each head with a suitable hat.” Patrick Dougherty

More than 150 volunteers contributed over 1000 hours to create this monumental, interactive sculpture in Hillsboro’s newest park from locally gathered plant materials to create a unique destination in the park.

Head Over Heels by Patrick DoughertyArtist Bio:

Born in Oklahoma in 1945, Dougherty was raised in North Carolina. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina in 1967 and an M.A. in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Iowa in 1969. Later, he returned to the University of North Carolina to study art history and sculpture.

Combining his carpentry skills with his love of nature, Patrick began to learn more about primitive techniques of building and to experiment with tree saplings as construction material. In 1982 his first work, Maple Body Wrap, was included in the North Carolina Biennial Artists’ Exhibition, sponsored by the North Carolina Museum of Art. His work quickly evolved from single pieces on conventional pedestals to monumental scale environmental works, which required saplings by the truckloads. Over the last thirty years, he has built over 250 of these works, and become internationally acclaimed. His sculpture has been seen worldwide---from Scotland to Japan to Brussels, and all over the United States.

Artist Website:

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