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Artist Carves a Sprawling Forest into an Ordinary Van

dan rawlings contemporary sculpture

With his work Nature Delivers, artist Dan Rawlings transforms a standard Ford transit van into a forest. The piece was commissioned by Kendal Calling for the Lost Eden festival, giving Rawlings the opportunity to take on this ambitious project.

Rawlings' work is typically tinged with nostalgia. He enjoys using old farm equipment and tools to harken back to a simpler time when material possessions held less importance. With Nature Delivers, the artist juxtaposes the material strength of the van, an object that “exemplifies the speed and momentum of modern life” with the encroaching nature he carves from the metal body.

Just as nature eventually reclaims its space, this carved forest eats away at the van's exterior. In doing so, Rawlings is “trying to offer a glimpse into an alternate future, an Eden where nature has the upper hand.” The work, which was completed in 2015, was, unfortunately, the recent victim of vandalism, when the interior was set on fire by an unknown culprit. Nonetheless, photos of the installation immortalize its original self.

Dan Rawlings transformed a Ford transit van into an incredible forest by cutting trees into the metal exterior.

dan rawlings transit van art

dan rawlings contemporary sculpture

His initial sketch demonstrates how he conceived the appearance of rust over time, which would contribute to the final feel of the sculpture.

dan rawlings art installation transit van

dan rawlings contemporary sculpture

Rawlings found the van on eBay and then set about cutting his design into the body of the vehicle.

dan rawlings art installation transit van

dan rawlings art installation transit van

Unfortunately, someone recently set fire to the interior of the van.

dan rawlings transit van art

Dan Rawlings: Website | FacebookInstagram
h/t: [Colossal]

All images via Dan Rawlings.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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