Natural History by Patrick Dougherty is a temporary installation at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The cocoon-like installation was created out of invasive willow saplings collected in Ocean Breeze Park on Staten Island, which were removed in order to protect that park’s native plantings.
The willow saplings have been woven into several small-scale shelters located in the Plant Family Collection near Magnolia Plaza. This is a long-term but temporary sculptural work, as the wood will eventually decay and return to the earth.
Inside a cocoon, the noise of visitors mostly disappears, leaving one with the feeling of almost womb-like shelter.
Patrick Dougherty is based in Chapel Hill and has been constructing these kinds of sculptures all over the world. To date, he has created approximately 200 stick-based installations, most located in private gardens or public outdoor spaces, but even including indoor sculptures and architectural interventions. Closest to Cincinnati is Dougherty’s installation at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark in Dayton, entitled A Wiggle in Its Walk.