We often conceive wheeled motor vehicles as being the epitome of modernity and progress, and the antithesis of all things natural. After all, you can't drive through an unpaved, primeval forest. Artist Dan Rawlings merges these two symbolic opposites in this curious art installation that has forest silhouettes carved into the body of a rescued delivery van.
Commissioned by the Kendal Calling festival, Rawling's 'Nature Delivers' installation features the shell of an old Ford Transit van, outlined with the cut shapes of trees, and placed in the festival's 'Lost Eden' section. Says Rawlings:
I chose to use a Ford Transit van as my medium. It’s an instantly recognizable shape that exemplifies the speed and momentum of modern life (the backbone of Britain by it’s own admission). I chose to subvert this symbol in order to demonstrate (or rather illustrate) nature's ability to reclaim even the strongest of materials. Ultimately trying to offer a glimpse into an alternate future, an Eden where nature has the upper hand.
According to My Modern Met, Rawlings bought the secondhand van on eBay and meticulously hand-cut the designs himself. The idea was to have the van gradually rust and gain colour, allowing it to someday blend in with its natural surroundings. Much of the concept behind Rawlings' works is based on those moments of boundlessness that we all experience at one time or another, he says:
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 means nothing, but means everything.
The idea of nature inspiring feelings of freedom and reclaiming everything in the end is an age-old one, and it's well-represented here in an unlikely way. Unfortunately, Rawling's forest van was vandalized earlier this year when someone set fire to it, but it seems to have survived relatively intact. To see more, visit Dan Rawlings and Instagram.