Mechanic turns artist

Transforming scrap metal into art in Najaf

NAJAF – Hussein Dawood, a mechanic skilled in car cooling systems from Najaf, has a unique vision for scrap metal, transforming discarded engine parts and metal scraps into intricate art pieces. Despite his academic challenges, Dawood’s artistic endeavors and mechanical skills have garnered local attention.

In his workshop in Najaf’s Maysan neighborhood, Dawood crafts models from items most people would disregard as junk. His creations range from small screw-based models to life-sized figures resembling horses. “I create models using iron and tires. I started in 2018 with small models made from screws, using a welding machine and a grinder,” Dawood told 964media.

Drawing inspiration from anime films and famous cartoon characters, as well as symbols of early civilization like the Sumerian lyre, Dawood has also ventured into making moving robots. His works reflect a blend of modern and traditional influences, including the dallah (a coffee pot) and the Arabian horse. He plans to introduce wood into his future projects to expand his range of materials.

Despite not having formal training in fine arts, Dawood has successfully animated some of his models with the help of a friend, enhancing their appeal and functionality. His aspirations don’t stop at creation; he aims to see his artworks displayed in parks and public squares across Najaf.

Dawood’s social media presence has attracted attention and offers to purchase his art, though he is currently not focused on selling his pieces. Instead, he sees potential for this to become a viable source of income in the future.

Visitors often come to his repair workshop just to see his art. Among his notable works is the ‘Scrap Throne,’ inspired by the iconic Iron Throne from the HBO megahit television series “Game of Thrones,” which took a month to complete. He is also enhancing a robot model that he considers using as an educational tool.