Dan Rawlings produces unique contemporary art that explores the juxtaposition of industrial production, heavy industry, and the natural environment. With the most delicate hand, Dan Rawlings carves intricate foliage motifs into his own hand-painted vintage-style road signs using a plasma cutter. Rawlings is a self-taught artist who is never afraid to push his experimental style, carving huge installations featuring grain silos, aircraft, tanker trucks, and vans. Rawlings presents a complex relationship with nature in his work, hinting that the greed of oil companies and our addiction to fossil fuels will have consequences. Rawlings also provides a way out, expressing nature's ability to thrive and heal once we have allowed life to return.
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Dan Rawlings is a contemporary British artist known for his large-scale installations and intricate plasma-cut metal works. A sympathy for discarded objects and an admiration for nature’s resilience inspire him to create visions of a future where man’s impact on the world is slowly reclaimed by nature.
Notable recent projects include: Future Returns, a plasma-cut reclaimed oil tanker housed inside a 19th century church in Lincolnshire's 20-21 Art centre, and Short Haul, an elaborately hand cut light aircraft shown at the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin during the 2019 Biennale.
His work has been exhibited at venues in London, Paris and Los Angeles, as well as at the legendary Glastonbury music festival and The Chelsea Flower Show.
You have said that as a child, you were fascinated by people making things. What is the first thing you remember making?
When I was young, I was surrounded by creative people. The first thing I remember making and having a feeling of achieving something was rebuilding a car engine with my grandma - as mad as that sounds. She was amazing. She was a photographer and actually, before the engine, I was doing cyanotype and salt printing with her. But, when I was twelve or thirteen, we rebuilt this really old engine together and I remember it being a weird victory - we had taken an engine apart, put it back together, and it worked. It was kind of spectacular...read the full interview.