patrick dougherty weaves fit for a queen at castle moat in nantes
all images © martin argyroglo / LVAN

 

 

 

american sculptor patrick dougherty has woven a stickwork at the castle of the dukes of brittany in nantes, france. ‘fit for a queen’ is an ephemeral structure made of branches, cascading in perpetual movement, reaching a monumental scale and enveloping those inside within a maze of organic material. set in the fortress’ moat, the installation invites viewers to enter and explore the tangled passageways and windows built into its tree-like expanse. the project has been realized for this year’s edition of le voyage à nantes.

patrick dougherty weaves fit for a queen in nantes
‘fit for a queen’ in the moat of the castle of the dukes of brittany in nantes, france

 

 

 

the large-scale work, as a creative undertaking, has required a developed understanding of the medium and an insight into the environmental context around it. ‘I have developed a process, an approach to building a sculpture.‘ dougherty explains ‘the first phase is to harvest some bigger saplings, which I put firmly into the ground to serve as a structural base. next, I imagine my sticks as lines with which to draw, and I pull piles of young saplings through these structural supports. this builds up a beautiful surface that looks much like a line drawing on a sheet of paper. finally I ‘erase’ or hide the blemishes with flourishes of very small sticks.’

patrick dougherty weaves fit for a queen in nantes
behind the interwoven branches

 

 

 

‘I generally work in public, and passers-by have access to the process of building the sculpture.’ the artist continues ‘the relationship that develops with people who live and work nearby has turned out to be a very interesting secondary gain. I think of conversations as a kind of cultural exchange, and I’ve learned to capitalize on the energy that it generates in me.’

patrick dougherty weaves fit for a queen in nantes
the installation invites viewers to enter and explore the tangled passageways

patrick dougherty weaves fit for a queen in nantes
passageways and tunnels are built into the maze-like structure

patrick dougherty weaves fit for a queen in nantes

patrick dougherty weaves fit for a queen in nantes
overlooking the castle in nantes