Ean Dawbarn

Original Sculpture, Paintings & Print

Ean Dawbarn


Personal Statement

Through my work I explore the complex and fragile correlation between humans and the natural world, and how as a species we continuously alter and change through design our environment. Through my sculpture I showcase the graphic magnificence of the memories of both human industrial development and the stark reality of natural mortality.

As a sculptor I originally engaged with found animal skeletons that I combined with recycled metals, creating work to compliment the beauty of animals in both life and death. More recently I have been substituting real bones with metal frames/skeletons. However, the construction process remains identical, starting with the internal 'engine-block' of organs overlaid with muscle tissue connected with sinews and tendons which are re-created using mixed metal to reanimate the creature as if alive, adopting new combined identities through mechanised anthropomorphism. The contrasting metals and textures finds natural fluidity reflecting our modern world and its new integrated order.

The outer skin connects and joins similarly to armour and that of Victorian iron built machines. I leave spyholes and openings within the construction of the outer skin deliberately exposing the internal workings within each piece. The blending of organic and fabricated engineering symbolizes the symbioses between humans and animals, cooperating within constant changing environments for survival. The pieces are finished with 'flying wires' creating final linear semblance.

A number of pieces are directly influenced by historical, cultural and religious change; illustrating how as an enterprising social species, humankind's industrial and technological advancements are at constant odds with its primitive ancient self-beliefs.

A number of the insect pieces depict direct human intervention on the natural world resulting in a forced evolution, insects adapting to a human way of life to survive as their world shrinks by human design.

Personal Summary

After graduating in 1995 from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (University of Dundee), Ean moved in many directions acquiring numerous and varied creative and technical skills. In 2002 he set up his own product design company, creating and producing a wide variety of different commercial design products and concepts. In 2015 he returned to his original path of sculpture.

Construction & technical Process

My work follows two paths; boned constructions containing real skeletons and non-boned pieces.

The sculptures are made from copper with brass, steel, aluminium and bronze details; all of which are obtained through recycling services, scrap metal merchants and donation.

Glaze textures are reached through reactive mixtures. All pieces are hand painted using a variety of different paints, inks and ffinishes.

Green and blue patinas are achieved using ammonia and salt vapour baths.

All welding performed with a gasless MIG.

The 'base stones' are Yorkshire sandstone sourced locally in North Yorkshire and the slate is from Honister slate mine in the Lake District.

Below: 2 barn owl bodies curing after reactive paint application.

Below: 2 barn owl wings and heads curing after reactive paint application.

Below: 2 barn owls ready for ffinal construction.

Below: a carrion crow found in the Yorkshire Dales. This item was collected, and cleaned.

Animal Acquisition & Process

The animals and insects that I use in my work are all acquired naturally, either in the form of road kill, found upon moorland or are from old vintage medical collections. The carcasses are laid to break down naturally by blowfly, beetle and saprophyte. Once stripped down to bone, the skeletons go through three cleaning processes and are then naturally dried. The skeletons are carefully wired back together ready to be worked on. Any absent bones are substituted with hand carved wooden replacements emulating the Ancient Egyptian need for completeness.

Below: prepared skulls ready to be worked on:

Below: found animals breaking down:

Below: fellow sculptor Steve Blaylock collecting slate at Honister slate mine in Cumbria.


1992 - 1995: Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design - University of Dundee. BDes (Hons) 3D Design.

1990 - 1992: Harrogate College of Arts and Technology - National B-Tec Studio Ceramics.

For more information, please contact:


+44 (0)7400 637269

Photography and artwork owned by Ean Dawbarn.

Reproduction and Copies require prior permission.

Ean Dawbarn copyright 2015-19