A homeless artist is to auction a stunning 170cm carving of a narwhal tusk to raise money for a West Wight charity supporting vulnerable people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
David Wallace, whose work will be shown at the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition this autumn, spent 2 months carving the tusk from a fallen oak branch found at Fort Victoria Country Park, near Yarmouth.
All proceeds from the auction will be split between the West Wight Coronavirus Support Hub and the Our Place Community Café, both of which are based at West Wight Sports & Community Centre. The team has assisted approximately 400 people suffering hardship as a result of the pandemic (including David), by supplying hot meals, collecting medicines, shopping, providing transport and even offering a friendly chat.
Brading-based HRD Auction Rooms has generously provided its online auction platform commission-free for the sale, which is to take place on the 15th July 2020.
David became a popular figure at Fort Victoria Country Park in 2018 when he spent the summer months carving a fallen tree on the beach with a myriad of real and mythical sea creatures, much to the delight of local children and holidaymakers.
David’s work is grounded in the philosophy that nature is to be enjoyed by everyone, and the cycles of nature provide him with the raw materials to turn into objects that are also to be enjoyed by everyone.
Tragically, the beautiful tree sculpture was stolen just as it was finished at the end of the summer, with all evidence at the scene suggesting that it had been chainsawed off at its roots and towed away by boat. In the summer of 2019 David carved another tree which is currently on display in front of the fort. It was this second beach sculpture which caught the eye of local Freshwater artist
Becca Cameron, who immediately recognised that David’s work was good enough for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London.
From photographs, the Academy selected a pair of crutches that David carved while teaching his craft at the Riverside Centre in Newport. This carving represents a significant moment in David’s life history. The crutches helped David out of the wheelchair that he had been using since suffering a serious motorcycle accident in his youth.
Details of the auction can be found on HRD Auction Rooms’ website. The listing will appear online one week before the auction at www.the-salesroom.com, and bids can be placed via telephone, live at the auction, and online. Online bidders will need to register at the-salesroom.com.