Combining his carpentry skills with his love of nature, Patrick Dougherty began to learn about primitive techniques of building and to experiment with tree saplings as construction material. Beginning about 1980 with small works fashioned in his back yard, he quickly moved from single pieces on conventional pedestals to monumental site-specific installations that require sticks by the truckload. Dougherty refers to his collection of sculptures as “stickworks.” To date he has built over two hundred such massive sculptures all over the world. His home base is his handmade house of log in Chapel Hill, NC where he lives with his wife and son.
Patrick Dougherty lists Sidewinder as his 222nd sculpture that includes his home in North Carolina, built 1975-1977. The sculpture took approximately 21 days to build and was completed and dedicated on March 24, 2011. The work consists of red maple and black willow saplings. Approximately 30 students and faculty assisted Patrick Dougherty in the building of the work. The sculpture was made possible through gifts from the Lonsford and Bookwalter funds.