Picnic Grove

2011
Douglas fir, Silver birch, Hardware
Edition of 1

The immersive sculptural installations by David Brooks explore different perceptions and interactions with nature. As part of the Cass Sculpture Foundation’s Fields Programme, Brooks created Picnic Grove, a sprawling work built out of custom-made outdoor wooden furniture and spread over the entire 18,000m of the Deer Hut Field. The dozens of picnic tables and garden chairs are constructed in an interlocking manner, with trees heedlessly growing through the furniture like opportunistic weeds. As the picnic tables traverse the field and impose themselves on the landscape, the trees perforate the structures like a verdant grove, creating ambiguity as to which is dominant; manmade constructions or nature. This is typical of David Brooks sculptural oeuvre in which he creates experimental platforms for nature and man to play out against one another. While visitors are encouraged to utilise the installation for communal enjoyment, they will also find themselves negotiating the playful interruptions created by the erratic placement of the trees, fostering a similar sense of ambiguity as to who is imposing on whom.

Share:

About The Artist

The work of David Brooks considers the relationship between the individual and the built and natural environment. His work focuses on how society implicates the natural world and also interrogates standardised perceptions of nature. His work investigates how cultural concerns cannot be divorced from the natural world, whilst also questioning the terms under which nature is perceived and industrialised. He often creates work depicting nature out of artificial materials in order to discuss the inherent tension existing between the manmade and natural world. Much of his work champions the organic and self-determined world of nature, which is evident in the works final outcome where manmade constraints and intervention in the maintenance or upkeep of the work have been deliberately removed.

Brooks questions what he describes as the ‘disconnect’ between projections or ideas of the environment, and the reality, and aims to counter a perceived lack of empathy, in which the natural world becomes hypothetical and removed. In a society so inundated with text and imagery, Brooks’ work suggests, we are at risk of becoming de-sensitised to our environments. His industrially-informed structures are frequently installed outdoors, in surroundings that highlight the dichotomous relationship between man and nature, such as urban parks or, as in the case of his acclaimed concrete stampede of animals before it was moved to a gallery space, in the midst of an area populated by wild sea birds.

‘Picnic Grove’ is currently on display

Download artwork info (PDF)
Visiting Information

David Brooks

Born: 1975

Other Artworks by David Brooks at CASS

Related content

  • Sculpture
    Exotic Tree
    Set within a wooded glade Exotic Tree creates an illusory sense of the fantastical or mysterious. Ti…
  • Sculpture
    Icarus Palm
    Icarus Palm is constructed from two tonnes of rubber tyres that have been torn and manipulated apart…
  • Sculpture
    The Return
    Rodney Bender's work The Return plays with optical illusions and is suggestive of the journey of lif…
  • Sculpture
    Field of Rods
    Field of Rods is formed from a series of highly polished, steel rods anchored to a fixed base. Resem…
  • Sculpture
    Stem
    Stem is an example of O’Connell’s respect for untamed nature. For O’Connell, a society’s relationshi…
  • Sculpture
    Squareball
    Squareball is Inspired by a Japanese farmers’ attempts to grow cube–shaped watermelons for efficient…
  • Sculpture
    Polar Bear
    The sculpture Polar Bear forms the closest links to traditional definitions of biomorphism. It slips…
  • Sculpture
    Loop
    O’Connell’s work is often informed by the austerity of minimalism as well as the uncomplicated shape…
  • Sculpture
    Curve to Point
    Curve to Point is a work that plays with historical and contemporary notions of formalism. The notio…
  • Sculpture
    Conetwirl
    Conetwirl is part of O'Connell's series Biomorphia. This was the most complex of all of the works pr…
  • Sculpture
    Vein
    Tall and elegant, each one of Tim Morgan's Veins are constructed from glass rods, held in compressio…
  • Sculpture
    Encampment
    Tents or tepees are the homes of the nomad. Like any encampment these six tent–like forms are placed…
  • Sculpture
    Untitled
    Untitled is made from two parallel stone segments. Each stone mirrors the other, separated by a chia…
  • Sculpture
    GREENHORN
    GREENHORN is the first work in a new series of James Capper’s Material Handling division, so called …
  • Sculpture
    Sketch of a Blue Whale (enlarged to scale 23m, 154 tonnes)
    Sketch of a Blue Whale is a line drawing of the world’s largest mammal, rendered in stainless steel …

Related content

Sculpture

Exotic Tree

Set within a wooded glade Exotic Tree creates an illusory sense of the fantastical or mysterious. Tiny, silhouetted figures are just visible within th…