Stick Huts, Twig Hats, Giant Cones, Whoville Houses. Regardless of what you like to call them, the nine conical interweavings of red maple saplings and grey dogwood that form Patrick Dougherty’s 2007 temporary installation So Inclined will be removed next week and turned into mulch.
And I’d be hiding the truth if I didn’t admit to being sad about it’s departure. Still, after four years it’s safe to say that it’s had a good run for a structure that, given the harshness of northern New England winters, might only have lasted two, and that will have to be consolation enough.
Of course, goodbyes can be difficult, so to ease the pain I felt compelled to photograph it one last time against what may be the last sunrise it sees. As I was shooting and enjoying the warmth of the first few rays of the morning sun I wondered whether the artist was enjoying a similar vista as he prepared for his flight to Vermont. Dougherty, who’s gracious and endearing manner drew in a vast audience of volunteers to help create So Inclined, will be on campus this afternoon to update the Middlebury community on his latest projects and to say his own goodbye to the work. If you’ve enjoyed this piece as much as I’ve heard tell, then you’ll want to find a way to attend his lecture at 4:30 in room 221 of the Mahaney Center for the Arts.
And if you’ll miss this work of art as much as I will, then I invite you to wander on over here and post your photos, stories, and memories of the piece so that we all can be reminded of what this project has meant to the community.
And without further ado, please enjoy this parting shot…if you are so inclined.