Twisted Fleur De Lis – John Doherty, artist
Inspired by the New Orleans Saints.
John Doherty, who was reared in Slidell, Louisiana, says he learned to work with steel “the hard way” at Southern Shipbuilding. While he moved to Denver, Colorado, in 1994, he was in Slidell the day before Katrina hit. As residents evacuated the city for Katrina, he headed back home and, like so many, turned to the news to learn of his hometown’s fate.
John created his first steel fleur de lis sculpture in early September of 2005. The process served as an outlet for his frustration and energy as he awaited updates regarding family and friends back home.
He views the fleur de lis as a symbol of defiance, strength and resilience following Katrina, and he celebrated the symbol within his artwork as a show of support for his hometown.
While the original design did not include the twist, this element was added shortly afterwards to represent the extreme rotational forces of Hurricane Katrina. It was also symbolic of the state of the area in the storm’s aftermath.
John created many Twisted Fleur de Lis sculptures to help raise funds through hurricane relief efforts, with the first offered in support of the Slidell Alumni Hurricane Relief Fund founded by his fellow Slidell High School alumnus, Tony Beard.
His Katrina Water Line is a hurricane symbol crafted in steel with a welded, horizontal line. It hangs in Slidell City Hall at the level to which the water rose in the historic Olde Towne building. His Fleur de Triomphe sculpture, which stands tall on the banks of Bayou Bonfouca in Slidell’s Heritage Park, was created to mark the fifth anniversary of the storm as a symbol of rebirth and recovery. The 13-foot sculpture, created from a 24-inch diameter steel pipe, is also marked with a hurricane symbol and water line indicator at the seven-foot mark, and is topped with a fleur de lis.
John’s works vary with the use of stainless steel, bronze, sterling silver and carbon steel and a variety of finish options. A popular addition to his Twisted Fleur de Lis line is a pendant series featuring a smaller version of his signature works.
The Hope for Habitat dream: Autographs from New Orleans Saints’ coach Sean Payton and QB Drew Brees.
36″ tall. Twisted Fleur de Lis is available for purchase. $400.
For additional information, please email Kim@RightBrainDiaries.com.