dan rawlings carves a steel forest into a reclaimed oil truck

dan rawlings carves a steel forest into a reclaimed oil truck

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contemporary british artist dan rawlings presents a compelling installation that explores human exploitation of nature’s resources and natures ability to respond. titled future returns and installed inside a former 19-century church in scunthorpe, england — now an art gallery called 20-21 visual arts centre — rawlings presents a reclaimed oil tanker which he has transformed by carving it with his freehand, intricate drawings of foliage motifs. 

dan rawlings carves a steel forest into a reclaimed oil truck
images by mark bickerdike

 

 

the future returns show by dan rawlings is inspired by heavy industry and the complex relationship humans have with industrial production and fossil fuels. to expose this relationship, the reclaimed carved oil tanker dominates the space, surrounded by mounds of earth and dark mirrored pools which reflect the omnipresence of oil in our lives.

dan rawlings carves a steel forest into a reclaimed oil truck

 

 

‘the plants in the sculptures are an acknowledgement that heavy industry is the root of so much in our lives,’ said dan rawlings. ‘most of what we know and rely on grows out of it, yet so much of it remains unseen. despite their awe-inspiring scale, and the many lives dedicated to working in them, many people have never seen steelworks, factories or coal yards, and do not consider their existence – and yet our whole way of life stems from them. I like to bring people’s attention to that, to make visible that truth. the foliage also draws attention to nature’s resilience and ability to find a way to thrive. whatever we take from nature, it always finds a way to take it back.’

dan rawlings carves a steel forest into a reclaimed oil truck

 

 

overall, future returns by dan rawlings in an invitation to examing our part in commercialization and the resulting changes to our natural environment. measuring L10.54m x W2.59m x H3.6, the reclaimed vehicle forms a commanding island internally lit and surrounded by mounds of earth, oil barrels and dark mirror-like pools that reflect the church’s vaulted ceiling, directing the attention to spilled oil pools, exploring man’s use of nature’s resources and nature’s ability to respond. 

dan rawlings carves a steel forest into a reclaimed oil truck

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