It’s true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And for this self-taught artist based in Gloucestershire, UK, scrap metal is his canvas. Dan Rawlings works with recycled tools, old vehicles, and anything else he finds; turning this scrap metal into beautiful tree and plant sculptures that merge with nature.
“I try to create images that remind people of the moments when everything seems possible and free; times when climbing a tree, or sitting admiring the way its branches twist and curl mean nothing, but means everything.”
Dan uses a variety of tools including files, grinders, scalpels and welders. He believes the process of making something is just as important as the end result. Typical scenes depicted in his scrap metal art include figures building a treehouse or walking amongst nature.
In the past few years, Dan says that he’s become obsessed with old tools, scrap metal, rust and corrosion. He enjoys the way metals are thought of as indestructible; they’re used for the frameworks of buildings, the bodies of cars, the hulls of ships and the tools used to make just about everything else. He says that rust serves to remind us how temporary it all is; working away reclaiming the land.
One of his most impressive works, Nature Delivers, was a white delivery truck which he cut to resemble a forest. It was commissioned by Kendal Calling and Walk the Plank for the Lost Eden festival. Unfortunately, someone set fire to it earlier this year. Fortunately, Dan sees that as more of a continuation of the artistic process than one of vandalism.