Artist’s garden for Saatchi Gallery at Chelsea Flower Show

A GARDEN created by Stroud artist Dan Rawlings is on display at Chelsea Flower Show.

The famous event at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London has returned this week, following last year’s hiatus due to Covid.

Dan’s installation features new artworks which highlight the resilience of nature.

One of the pieces, pictured here, is entitled Delays Expected.

At first glance the scene appears post apocalyptic-like, with a seemingly deserted vehicle overgrown with plants, and reclaimed by nature.

But on closer inspection, the vehicle has been carved out by Dan to leave only a metal skeleton, shaped into a 3D forest sculpture of trees and brambles.

Dan’s intricate hand cut process is created using a plasma cutter, a handheld torch that combines electricity and compressed air to cut through metal.

The vehicle’s structure is illuminated using hidden LED lights, lit at random – as if left wild, and free of human control.

The garden also includes reshaped traffic lights and seemingly decaying, but again intricately cut out metalwork, roadworks signs.

Dan said he has used the opportunity to make a statement about ‘our constant avoidance of the ever growing climate issues’.

“We hear the phrases ‘net zero’ and ‘emissions targets’ daily, and it’s easy to tell ourselves that our problems are being dealt with, that we are on a smooth road out of environmental catastrophe,” he said.

“We can be diligent with our recycling, carbon offsets and reusable shopping bags, but these efforts are not enough, and the reality is that we are patching a potholed road.

“Traffic lights and roadworks interrupt the flower show, and weeds interrupt the roadworks. ‘Delays Expected’ is a utopian Atlantis – the spectre of a world that could be free.”

He added: “Every part of this garden will go on to be used elsewhere. Everything but the plants is already being reused from other events or uses, and it will all go on to be used again, the plants themselves will all be donated to new homes, and a few will go to my garden.”

Chelsea Flower Show continues until Sunday.

Dan’s garden is on view at stand number RHW281, located on the major show thoroughfare Royal Hospital Way.

Dan is exhibiting at the show with Saatchi Gallery.

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