David Bruce



David Bruce challenges nominalization of environment and experience through art. His work traverses a broad spectrum of processes and materials, encouraging the role of diversity in expression and configuration of place. He has created outdoor sculpture and installations in response to site as well as intimate objects that share subtle poetic experience. Much of his work evokes sensitivity to space and awareness of intimate relationships between man and environment.

David received a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from East Carolina University in 2002 and is currently preparing for graduate studies at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. As an artist with a background in planning, his work is punctuated by research focused on the intersection of art, design and environment. Investigating the role of art in the 21 century, he often follows projects that generate opportunities for artists and expand the relationship between art and environment.


Intersections of art, design and environment provide a prolific source for innovation and expression. Products emerging from these intersections diversify and enrich spaces developed through human behavior. At a fundamental level my work embraces freedom of expression, diversity and awareness of the dynamic relationship between and environment and behavior.

With long term thoughts in mind my efforts are oriented towards challenging the normalization of environment and behavior through art. In stark contrast to the resilience and aesthetic of natural ecologies normalization reduces variation leading to the homogenization of human habitats. Uniformity can greatly limit a cultures ability to innovate and adapt to changing environmental, social and technological climates. While art functions on many levels the scope of my work and research involves an ongoing exploration of arts ability to challenge homogenization and enrich environments influenced by man.

On a large scale the work I create contributes incrementally to the diversity of a space. I am challenged to consider the lifecycle of each piece, environmental impacts and implications related to behavior. On a personal level I am engaged in a process driven method for developing awareness and cultivating my relationship with an environment. At times I am focused on subtle ideas resulting in intimate objects and at other times I respond to spaces through elaborate installations. I am moved to communicate the nuances of my personal relationship to environment through meaningful objects while enriching the spaces I am afforded a response to. Covering the broad spectrum of my interests I am making work that varies in focus and intent, subtly encompassing my value for expression, diversity and awareness, while considering the extended role and value of each composition in relation to environment and behavior.

j fergeson gallery proudly hosts Oi David Bruce’s sculptures have the look of something that formed slowly over time, but could collapse at any moment. Stones arrange themselves in towers sandwiching shards of broken glass, or hang in clusters knotted together by sinew. You don’t approach his work so much as stumble upon it, like something found in the woods, the work of ancient travelers or flash floods.

What were once real stones are now ceramic sculptures, at times so big he has to make them in pieces. These objects are often held in place by climbing ropes, alluding to his experiences in the mountains and the place from which his inspiration is drawn. His work exist in relation to the surrounding space, leaving an impression that it occurs in nature – though it still looks, defiantly, manmade.

This is where Bruce works -- his sculpture explores the relationship of humans in the environment. How his pieces exist in space, how they interact with the viewer, is the result of a curious blip on his radar: an Urban Planning degree from East Carolina University.

His latest show, “Oi” at j fergeson gallery in Farmville, continues his interest in the way objects and environments engage the imagination.

“I am generating an atmosphere and a culture of objects intimately connected by the space between and within each form,” Bruce says. I think of this space as the domain of dreams, subtly and invisibly filled by the imagination.”

Bruce has never been one to direct his audience; creating literal work is not his intention. Instead he embraces ambiguity, encouraging a different response from each viewer who comes across his manmade wilderness.

Oi will be open to the public May 1 – 30. 311 N. Main St. Farmville, VA 23901 www.jfergesongallery.com