Former N.E Oil Manager Forges New Career with Stunning Metal Sculptures

Steve Burke McKay’s life has changed dramatically in the last year. He’s gone from working in the oil and gas sector in Aberdeen for several years, moving to Ireland and London during the sector downturn in Scotland; and then returning to creating eye catching metal sculptures in the rural village of Tealing in Angus.

At a reception at the University of Dundee Botanic Garden last night (Wednesday 14 June 2017), his latest work was finally revealed – Magnus, a life size Shetland pony – made entirely from recycled metal and farm machinery parts.

For the last few weeks, Steve’s hundreds of social media followers have been speculating about what it might be as he revealed small sections every few days. Now the wait is over and Magnus will be on display at the Botanic Garden for a few weeks so that visitors can get a closer look.

Gordon Ramsay, Trust Development Officer of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden Endowment Trust, said “We are delighted to be exhibiting this stunning artwork and look forward to welcoming many more visitors along to see and enjoy the intricate and detailed metalwork. The artist’s ingenuity and creativity has to be seen close up to be fully appreciated”.

Steve’s inspiration comes from a love of cars and any moving object. When he was just 11, he started saving his pocket money and by the age of 15, had enough to buy an old 1980s Mini Cooper. It needed a lot of restoring and he soon realised he needed to learn how to weld. It was his brother’s 21st birthday two years ago that really kicked him off creating metal sculptures.

Steve said, “I wanted to get him something unique. Lewis loves cars and plays the guitar, and I came up with an idea – to make him a metal guitar from old car parts. Everyone seemed to think it was great and Lewis was bowled over with such an unusual gift.”

Steve was inspired to create his latest piece, Magnus the Shetland pony, after a trip to the famous Shetland Isles fire festival Up Helly Aa earlier this year. When Steve arrived in Shetland he immediately fell in love with the magical scenery, coastline, friendly folk and the sturdy little ponies.

“When I headed home I got straight to work. This has definitely been my most challenging piece because of the complexity, the amount of materials needed and the sheer size of it. I’ve spent more time with Magnus over the last four months than I have with people. Each project takes hundreds of hours to complete.

“I source material from anywhere that uses metal machinery and tools, including farms and farm auctions. I’d like to make a stag and another guitar. I’m also keen to do a sea creature or maybe an otter. I take a huge amount of inspiration from Scotland itself, but would love to hear ideas from others about metal sculptures they might like to commission. I’m always excited to create something unique. It would also be amazing to create a bespoke metal sculpture for a musician who is also crazy about old classic cars, but that might just be a pipe dream!”

Magnus will remain on display outdoors at the Garden for the next two weeks while a competition is run for the best photo taken with him by members of the public. Steve hopes Magnus will then find a permanent home with someone or a community that will cherish and enjoy him forever.

Find out more about Steve’s work at on Facebook and Instagram.


Steve is 29 and lives in Tealing, Angus on the outskirts of Dundee.  The art galleries current selling his work (and happy to comment) include Eduardo Allessandro in Broughty Ferry and the Atholl Gallery

For more background information and examples of his work visit email Steve at:  For interviews, quotes or more information, he can be reached on (+44) 07595 226493

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