Culture Art & Media Recycled Dystopia: Spooky Sculptures of Found Objects by Greg Brotherton By Kimberley Mok Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who covered architecture and the arts for Treehugger starting in 2007. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Kimberley Mok Updated October 11, 2018 ©. Greg Brotherton Share Twitter Pinterest Email Culture History Travel Sustainable Fashion Art & Media Holidays Community © Greg Brotherton The darker side of the human imagination is sometimes a source of great inspiration for some -- even for artists working with recycled materials. Using found objects like old cash registers, sewer hole covers and helicopter parts, along with hammer-formed steel, San Diego-based artist Greg Brotherton creates unsettling but finely crafted sculptures that reflect a dystopian worldview. Colossal calls him a cross between Tim Burton and Edouard Martinet; we are inclined to agree. © Greg BrothertonComing from a childhood spent tinkering and taking things apart (and experimenting with explosives at age twelve!), Brotherton's work seamlessly integrates disparate parts into dark but well-crafted pieces that emphasize a kind of post-industrial malaise. © Greg Brotherton Focusing on themes of "escape and discovery," Brotherton's sculptures often feature eyeless, menacing forms, brandishing claw-like hands and hunched over machines that seem to imprison or completely consume their users. © Greg Brotherton Other pieces seem to suggest an imagined technology based on an almost steampunk aesthetic, like this piece titled "Search Engine," featuring welded steel, teak, a surplus lens, an antique cash register and sewing machine parts. © Greg Brotherton © Greg Brotherton Despite the gloomy patina of his pieces, there's an underlying optimism in Brotherton's artistic view though. The artist, who was featured in 2007 by TED, says his vision is ultimately an heroic one inspired by "human curiosity," and where "one being, tinkering away with silent genius, could become the hope of the future." In a world that is often darkened by shadows of human creation, a curiosity tempered by compassion may be the only thing left that's bright. © Greg Brotherton See more of Greg Brotherton's works here.