Interview with Kent Artist Dan Lane aka Mechanica
Artist Dan Lane, aka Mechanica, is all about the mechanics of things. How they work, what they look like, what they make you feel. This, combined with elements of nature and beautifully elegant sculptures from the past make for some unusual and inspiring pieces.
Who creates your art – is it you or your alter ego, Mechanica?
If I’m being honest it’s a bit of both. I wanted it to be just Mechanica and be this aloof character but I’m doing lots of shows around the country and I’m really enjoying meeting all the people that turn up. My work is so different to what people have seen before it’s actually really helpful for me to answer questions and explain the work to them… being aloof was never going to work!
What was it about machinery and mechanics that made you want to create art out of it?
I’ve always had an interest in how things work or how they’re made and before being a full-time artist I was an engineer for 14 years, so I guess I just find it a bit easier to create art in this medium.
What inspires your art?
The mechanical world is something that runs through all my work; nature is a big influence and I often create sculptures where the mechanical world and nature coexist. I find it really interesting to have something quite beautiful like hummingbirds, butterflies, or flowers being placed against quite dark yet elegantly beautiful mechanical backdrops. I’m also inspired by classical, Baroque sculptures that you would find in churches, or around Rome etc. I often use this style of sculpture in my work and find it interesting to see something very classic in style against my mechanical elements.
Do you have a favourite piece?
I have a lot of favourite pieces. If I had to pick one though it would be a piece called “The Creation of Man”. It’s my version of the famous image on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
What is the most interesting and/or difficult commission you’ve been asked to do?
I find something interesting and difficult in all my sculptures. Because they are all so different it’s a bit like learning how to do something new every time I start a new piece. Part of the challenge is figuring out how things should go together and it’s never really the same each time.
How long does it take to create an ‘average’ (if there is such a thing!) sculpture?
An original work of mine can take anywhere from three weeks for a small sculpture to over eight weeks for a large piece. I usually work on a few sculptures at the same time so if get stuck on one piece I can work on another for a while.
Where can we see your work?
I have a good back catalogue of photos on my Facebook page, just search Mechanica, or you can visit my website. Or you can walk into any Castle Fine Art gallery around the country.
What does the future hold?
In June of 2015 we had my big launch, and since then I have been touring different galleries around the country. Next year I will be doing a bit more touring and trying to reach some of the places I didn’t have time for this year. Looking into the future I’d like to do something abroad; I have sold a few pieces that have gone out to America, Russia, and Singapore so who knows – maybe I’ll get lucky and have an exhibition in another country.