David Greenwood

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Created in 2008
Material: welded steel


Seedpod 9 (Buzz) is comprised primarily of parts cut with a hand-held plasma cutter; some were cut from computer designs. The individual pieces are then welded and/or bolted together.  Greenwood's Seedpod 9 (Buzz) was awarded the prestigious Jurors' Award for best of show in the inaugural 2017 Experience Art Rapids! event.

"Most of my sculptures over the past 30 years have been figurative, life-sized and metaphorical. They derive a lot from Folk Art and seem to suggest narratives. With the Seedpod Series, begun in 2004, I have turned to an interest in pure form and in abstraction from Nature. I cannot resist picking up seedpods. I collect them wherever I travel. They prove to me every time that no one can beat Mother Nature as designer. Their diversity is awe inspiring. 

"We often talk as though the Organic world and the Geometric world are polar opposites. They are not. What fascinates me about objects such as seedpods is their fusion of growth forms with what seems to be modular ‘engineering' of mathematic precision. Boats and airplanes delight me for the reverse quality: complex mathematics and engineering leading to graceful, fluid, functional (but organic) forms."

Of his metamorphic sculptures, Greenwood writes, “I patrol the borderline between the conscious and unconscious mind searching for those images that are both unique and universal. I celebrate the cracks in the veneer of ‘civilization;’ somewhere deep in those crevices truth is waiting. I witness the collision of cultures with a curious kind of optimism. In the ragged no-man’s land between two belief systems reality may reveal itself. 

“I am interested in primitive cultures, in symbolism and in allegory revealed through rural themes. I begin my work intuitively; I let imagery emerge and evolve as it will, and later impose formal restrictions upon it. There is always a certain amount of assemblage involved in my work, even if all the objects are handmade. Juxtaposition is critical to what I am trying to say. For me, life is a series of juxtaposed events, of random encounters and moments in time. We do our best to make sense of the comic and tragic that sometimes run parallel paths but often collide.

“Since I began working in wood, I have enjoyed the option of working quite large. I prefer a 1:1 (life-size) scale. I am more interested in creating places than things. I hope my work presents a situation rather than an object. Many of my works seem to invite the physical participation of the viewer. There is a suggestion/absence of human form. Viewers of my work should enjoy the little mysteries. I hope they will feel that they have arrived in a situation where something has just happened or is about to happen. Each person can imagine what went before and what will occur next according to his/her individual experience.

“I hope my work is both visually exciting and stimulating to the imagination. Good questions are more valuable than good answers.”

David Greenwood is a professor of Foundation and Fine Arts at Kendall College of Art & Design.  Greenwood has pieces on exhibit at several other outdoor sculpture parks.

Approximate dimensions and weight:

5' high, 15' long,  5' wide

250 pounds


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