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.