Sketch of a Blue Whale is a line drawing of the world’s largest mammal, rendered in stainless steel tubing and enlarged at a true-to-life scale. As with much of Brooks’ work, the sculpture reflects upon our relationship with the natural world and comments upon the detrimental impact human industry has on the environment. Here, Brooks draws on the aesthetic of urban structures such as skyscrapers and scaffolding to encase the monumental creature, alluding to the industrial methods used to handle these giant animals, as well as mimicking Cartesian drawing grids. The stainless steel tubing is similar to that used as guard rails in swimming pools. His sculptures are typically fabricated in materials used in urban infrastructure such as concrete, stainless steel and hardware machinery.
The blue whale can exceed 30 metres in length and 200 tonnes in weight; their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant and their hearts as much as a car. By confronting the viewer with the humbling scale of the creature, Brooks examines our individual relationships with the world around us, both celebrating its majesty and drawing attention to our disconnected perception of reality. From afar, the form is difficult to discern and for Brooks, discovering a whale seemingly floating in mid-air should be both unexpected and humorous. Brooks’ work investigates the relationship between individuals and their built and natural environments, challenging the terms under which nature is perceived.