Skip to main content


Patrick Dougherty, 2019 (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

Willow branches, saplings and steel

In early July 2019, Patrick Dougherty and his small band of assistants landed at Alnoba and began their construction of Wildwood. With a truckload of willow branches and saplings from the property, they began to sculpt and weave this Suess-like sculpture.

For this piece, Dougherty walked the land and chose this spot in the area we call the campground. He liked the connection with camping and camp revivals which require temporary shelter. He drew further inspiration for the shape and style from the tree roots protruding from the earth. From there, he imagined and then built this large wheel with its inner barrel that swirls up as if in motion.

Dougherty likes the temporal nature of his work because he likes the feeling of vulnerability of the material: that it can’t be moved and will eventually return to the earth. It reflects our own temporary lives.

Photo by Mike Sears

This piece is part of the collection at Alnoba. See the full collection or check our upcoming tour schedule.