Conceptual artist Dan Rawlings takes once-pollutant vessels like trucks, vans, and planes and transforms them into hollow 3D sculptures with a message about the power of nature.
Some conceptual artists are criticised for how little physical ‘work’ goes into their pieces. Dan Rawlings isn’t one of those types.
Based in Gloucestershire, England, each of Rawlings’ installations is a labour of love.
Renowned for his intricate carvings into scrap metal and recycled tools, his latest and most ambitious collection ‘Future Returns’ is really putting him on the map.
The self-taught artist has taken up to four months at a time transforming retired vehicles like trucks, vans, and planes from once pollutant vessels into incredible 3D installations – each with a superseding message about humanity being ‘reclaimed’ by nature.
Initially painting his designs onto the exterior of these vehicles, Rawlings then carves the hollow structure using a plasma cutter before filing down the sharp edges by hand. ‘It’s very labour intensive. But that’s the bit I really enjoy,’ he says.
The centre piece of his collection is a 10.5 metre tanker which had been 12 years out of service until he brought it. Using the methods described, he etched tree formations into both the cab and trailer.
Sat atop a mound of earth and surrounded by barrels, the interior floor has been fitted with dark mirror-like pools resembling spilt oil, and lights which highlight Rawlings’ handy work.