Early in life Lyle Rowell began working with, and learning from found and discarded objects. Everything from bicycles, lawnmowers, washing machines, televisions and toasters all went under the knife. Cruel amputations and unceremonious autopsies were performed to discover the cause of death or examine the life functions on the still living. Becoming a self taught welder, mechanic and surgeon to most types of machines, proved valuable when some years later, influenced largely by science fiction/fantasy films, books and illustrators, his life took an artistic direction.
(Un)Fortunately waste is everywhere and it isn’t going away. As long as humans exist, there will be waste. Living in a squatted house in Manchester with ten or more others who, like himself, were always dragging home anything they found in the streets, meant there was no shortage of materials close at hand aught”
“…close at hand. With the philosophy of creating useful objects and sculptures from household and automotive items discarded by others, and also the necessity of working this way, he started his creative journey. He began creating small sculptures, creatures from his fantasies, skeletal limbs, hands and skulls, from the metal rubbish he had found.
His work eventually attracted attention and he was invited to the Hackney Homeless Festival in London where he quickly met several original members of the Mutoid Waste Company and D.N.T.T. and became involved in the underground art/music party/festival scene, which gave him the inspiration and opportunity to create large scale sculptures, some mechanical, for such events. It also served as market to find commissions from private requests to commercial work for clubs or the music video industry. After a few years in London he moved to Germany where he worked on the MSS Stubnitz, an Arts and Cultural Space in a salvaged fishing boat in Rostock. After various collaborations in Dresden and Berlin he then headed down to Rome and eventually Santarcangelo where the Mutoids had established a base in Emilia Romagna since 1990.
His creations have been exhibited all over Europe and as far away as Japan. In 2001 he was commissioned by Ducati to create “Ducati Monster 100,001” using pieces provided from the Ducati factory in Bologna. In 2002, along with other members of Mutoid Waste Co., he helped realise “la macchina del tempo” for the 100th anniversary of Artigiano Metropolitano in Torino. Also in Torino he exhibited at the inauguration of MIAAO, the Museo Internationale di Arte Applicata di Oggi. Some other events of note include Glastonbury festival in the UK, Robodock Festival in Amsterdam and Gogbot Festival in Enschede, Holland, Soutterain Porte V in Nancy, France, Fuji Rock Festival in Japan and Waken Open Air, Fusion Festival, and Robodonien in Germany.
He continues to create sculpture, furniture and mechanical beasts such as “Lrry-1” a toro/ reptile hybrid and “D1zzy” his 1400 kg rhino which are available for hire for film or video collaborations, festivals and other events.