Makawao, Maui - Renowned landscape artist Patrick Dougherty is at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center from September 5th to the 23rd to install one of his signature stickwork pieces outside the entrance to the main building. This collaborative project involves the participation and support of many volunteers, staff members, and donors.
Day 4 of the Stickwork project, Thursday, September 8th - In the midafternoon, the sky clouded over and rain sprinkled down. It was not a soaking rain, just enough to provide relief to the volunteers who had been working in the hot sun earlier that day. The front parking lot of the Hui has been transformed into a staging area with waist-high piles of slender tree trunks and branches: invasive strawberry guava and eucalyptus. Nimble-fingered volunteers are stripping the trees of leaves and dragging them to the front lawn, where they will be inserted into 2 foot holes into the ground and then woven and cajoled into forming a cohesive, organic structure. Meanwhile, a pattern of holes, surrounded by clumps of tree roots and mounds of dirt, is spreading across the lawn below a towering pine.
The project is collaborative in multiple ways – from cutting down the trees and branches, bundling them into piles, hoisting the piles into trucks, transporting piles to the art center, then selecting and dragging tree trunks tangled within the piles, digging holes with a 4-person auger or an old-fashioned post hole digger, and then lifting and inserting the branches into the ground.
If people were birds creating gigantic nests on the ground, the resulting forms would be what Patrick’s art looks like: tumbling, free form, twisting, weaving and spinning.
Here’s a short and “raw” video clip of the first day of building. It's very raw, and includes short snippets of conversation, for example, a casual remark about the "auger demon" which was used to dig holes. Note: if anyone was filmed by accident, and doesn't wish to be, please let me know. Mahalo!