Ean Dawbarn

Original Sculpture & Print

Ean Dawbarn

Artist Statement - Sculpture


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 primarily engage with found animal skeletons that I combine with recycled metals, creating work to compliment the beauty of animals in both life and death.

The construction process starts with the internal 'engine-block' of organs, muscle tissue and detailed features which are re-created from mixed metal to reanimate the creature as if alive, adopting new combined identities through mechanised anthropomorphism. The contrasting metal and textures finds natural fluidity reflecting our modern world and its new integrated order. The armour and internal workings within each piece blends organic and fabricated engineering symbolizing the symbioses between humans and animals, cooperating within constant changing environments for survival.

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

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 constructions concentrating more on the outer feel of the animal. The sculptures are made from  copper and brass obtained from recycling services, scrap metal merchants and donation. Glaze textures are reached through reactive mixtures and all pieces are hand painted using a variety of different paints and finishes.

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

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

above: 2 barn owls ready for ffinal construction.

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

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: Collecting slate from Honister slate mine in Cumbria with fellow sculptor Steve Blaylock.


1992 - 1995

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

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+44 (0)7400 637269