Loop de Loop at Morris Arboretum

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Internationally acclaimed sculptor Patrick Dougherty spent three weeks in March working on his latest sculpture, Loop de Loop, at Morris Arboretum. He had help from his son Sam, a group of staff members from the arboretum, and rotating groups of volunteers. 

Loop de Loop is a maze-like structure that has the feel of a roller coaster track that winds around the top of the sculpture. It has several rooms, passageways, doors, and windows.

Patrick’s signature style, what he calls “Stickwork,” uses pliable willow branches woven together to form all sorts of shapes and structures. In this case it literally took a truckload of sticks to create this new work. 

This is Patrick’s third sculpture at Morris Arboretum. He created Summer Palace in 2010 and A Waltz in the Woods in 2016. The sculptures usually last for 2-3 years depending on how kind the elements are to them. 

Loop de Loop is best experienced in real life! You can find it in the sculpture garden just down the hill from the Rose Garden at Morris Aroboretum. 


Thanks to Morris Arboretum for hiring me to document Patrick’s process over his three week residency. The arboretum is truly a gem in northwest Philadelphia and is even more fun to visit when there is a great new sculpture to experience.