In the middle of Terminal 1 at Casablanca’s own Mohammed V Airport is a black sculpture of a lion. Close inspection will reveal that the sculpture is entirely made of used tires and other recycled materials.
The artist behind the Tyre Lion is Lahcen Iwi, whose talent rests in using recycled materials to create amazing sculptures. Iwi familiarised himself with this form of art at and early age, while observing his father turning used tires into jars and buckets.
After completing his baccalaureate, Iwi began working in a carpentry shop. It was here that he started exploring the possibility of covering common furniture with strips of recycled tires to create a new object whose main attractiveness was its artistic merit rather than its functionality.
The use of wood is still in place in Iwi’s art, albeit hidden. Animal figures dominate his output, but he’s equally comfortable creating sculptures of imaginary creatures, human figures, and motorbikes. But underneath all the tires that make these sculptures so striking is a frame made of wood.