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A film by Penelope Maunsell and Kenny Dalsheimer

Bending Sticks celebrates the twenty-five year career of internationally renowned environmental artist Patrick Dougherty, who has created hundreds of monumental, site-specific sculptures out of nothing more than saplings. The film follows the artist and his collaborators during a year of stick work and reveals Dougherty’s process,  personal story and inspirations.

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Documentary  •  2012  •  54 minutes   •  HD  •  16×9  •  English

Bending Sticks celebrates Patrick Dougherty’s majestic art and explores how childhood fascinations feed the soul of this amazingly prolific and insightful artist. After over a quarter century of building stick sculptures of beauty, mystery and organic power in communities around the world, Dougherty has established himself as one of America’s great living environmental artists. 

The heart of Bending Sticks is the creation of five Dougherty commissions – inside the new wing of the NC Museum of Art, on Main Street in Rock Hill, SC, at a private home in Chapel Hill, NC, at the Bascom Art Center in the NC mountains, and at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. At each site viewers marvel at how Dougherty and others transform piles of sticks into energetic lines and expressive forms.

What folks are saying. . .

A lovely film on the whole process of an artist thinking, doing and “making his dreams”. . . all over, under and around the world!

Petah Coyne, Sculptor and Photographer

A fascinating chronicle of the creative process behind the work of twig-snarl artist Patrick Dougherty. From conception, through construction with volunteers, and finally, publicresponse, this film captures the unique charms and universal appeal of the creations made by this arboreal poet. Bravo!

Mark Sloan, Artist and Museum Director

I am struck and astounded by the life described in the film Bending Sticks. The film depicts repeated forays of the peripatetic Patrick Dougherty to encounter new space, new workers, new sticks, and the resulting new art. This is a film about a truly original human being. ​

Thomas Sayre, Sculptor and Painter