Insight into the Work of Dan Lane, Mechanica

Mechanica is a dark yet beautiful take on natural forms by mechanical intervention: an industrial version of life. Each piece is the result of months of searching for parts and features, then a unique and meticulous technique of arranging and rearranging hundreds of parts is used to create the final pieces. Through use of gears, cogs, pipes, wires, bracketry, and other mechanical elements it allows the sculptures to take on a new form as though coming to life. We talk to Dan Lane about his work.

A: What is your inspiration behind your work and what is the statement that it is making?
DL: My life has been mainly driven by a need to know how things work, and how things come apart and go together again. Add to that a love for all things unusual and off centre and I have a mix of interests that have inspired me to create my pieces. My work is a dark yet beautiful take on natural forms by mechanical intervention.

A: How do you choose your found objects?
DL: A lot of the mechanical elements of my sculptures are items that have been donated to me from broken typewriters and old ceiling fans to unwanted everyday items, but most of the main features of the pieces i.e. the busts, or ornaments, are items I find at bric-a-brac stores or junk sales. The features have to stand out and have character, so I am always looking out for those with lots of detail.

A:How long have you been working in this medium of sculpture and how would you describe it?
DL: I have been making these sculptures for about 3 years, I guess the technique would be described as assemblage although most assemblage artists don’t paint their pieces and I do. The paint technique I have developed unifies the pieces and gives the look of a cast metal sculpture. This, to my knowledge is where I am unique and stand out from other artists in this field.

A: What or who influences your work and how does your experience as an engineer play a part in it?
DL: I am influenced by any artists that has an attention to detail, I love detail. Modern artists like Marc Quinn and Kris Kuksi use a lot of detail in their work, and I also love sculptors like Gian Lorenzo Bernini, his level of detail and depth brings each of his pieces to life. As an engineer I have to have a high level of attention to detail as we work to fine tolerances in order for things to go together correctly, otherwise they don’t work. With my pieces I try to make them look as if they are working machines.

A:Where do you see your work in the future?
DL: I see myself creating ever more complex and ornate sculptures, as I am always trying to push myself with the intricacy of my work. In turn, I would like to see my work appear in larger commercial galleries, as I feel they will create a real impact on the wide audience it will reach.

You can view more of Daniel Lane’s work at or alternatively you can contact the artist at

To see his listing in the Artists’ Directory in Aesthetica Magazine issue 59 pick up a copy at

1. See No Evil. Size 61 x 41 cm. Courtesy of the Artist
2. Jesus Machine, Size 74 x 63 cm. Courtesy of the Artist

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