Patrick Dougherty's Itty Bitty Pretty One 

When: Ongoing

Patrick Dougherty's "Stickwork" at Cheekwood

If a writer with less of an obsession with the occult and television mysteries were to see Patrick Dougherty’s outdoor installation “Stickwork” at Cheekwood, this pick would probably have a lot less to do with Carcosa and Matthew McConaughey constructing figures out of beer cans. But that’s not the case here, and all I can say is I hope Cheekwood’s ready for the influx of True Detective fans who will doubtless be lousing up their serene grounds as soon as they catch wind of this labyrinthine installation of tree branches and limbs. This is not to say that Dougherty’s fluid stick fort isn’t fantastically intricate and worthy of the accolades it’s sure to receive. On the contrary, this seems to be one of the most on-point installations the botanic garden has made since Mathilde Roussel’s rotting grass sculpture — and this one’s predicted to avoid decay for as long as two years. “Stickwork” was made over three weeks with as many as six volunteers at any given time, and is now open for both kids and adults to wander through and examine from every angle. Think of the Minister’s Treehouse in Crossville, Tenn., but with an aesthetic that lends itself much more easily to Cheekwood’s scenic landscape.
— Laura Hutson


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