David Williams-Ellis, the leading figurative sculptor has been commissioned to make a life-and-a-third size bronze of Wales’ most famous artist, Sir Kyffin Williams. Luxury lifestyle PR agency Pilot PR finds out more.
In an exciting project close to David’s heart, a funding initiative is underway which will include an auction at Roger Jones & Co at Colwyn Bay, North Wales on the 27th October 2012, with a bronze on display. In addition, The Royal Cambrian Society are hosting an evening in the new year dedicated to David’s work with Kyffin.
"He is Wales’ greatest painter of the 20th and 21st centuries, if not one of the greatest painters in Wales’ history. He was a great exponent of the visual arts in Wales and he deserves to be celebrated,” says David.
The lasting memorial of Kyffin will be sited at Oriel Ynys Mon, which houses a permanent Kyffin Williams exhibition. The bronze statue, depicting Kyffin at work outdoors, will cost £85,000 and will be funded by the sale of 25 maquettes (12” high), which are being sold for £4050 including VAT. Ten maquettes have already been sold through galleries and to individuals.
One of Wales’ greatest ever landscape artists, Sir Kyffin Williams was a national treasure, as well as a member of The Royal Academy.
David Williams Ellis first met Kyffin when he was twelve growing up in Porthmadoc. A close friend of the family, Kyffin made a lasting impression on David: “I remember this tremendous character - he was a larger than life figure."
“I remember the tales that went with the work – every picture had a story. He had such enduring enthusiasm for life and for stories. I remember the twinkle he had in his eye - he was always being slightly naughty with the stories; as the twinkle got greater you wondered about the origins of the tales and how authentic they were!” David continues.
In later years, Kyffin sat for Williams-Ellis, who sculpted a bust that is now in the Royal Cambrian Academy where Kyffin was President for many years.
“That was when I really got to know him. When you’re working with someone really closely and you see them day in, day out, you see their highs and lows, you pick up their idiosyncrasies and you get to be very knowledgeable about them. When people sit for you they start treating you like a close family member, like an analyst. They start opening up to you – that’s the most lovely thing about doing portraiture.” Says David.
Williams-Ellis got to know Kyffin over several weeks of working at his studio. David visited his studio two or three days in a row for about four weeks. Kyffin also bought a couple of David’s life-size bronzes.
“I had an amazing time with him entertaining me and making me laugh. He was vivacious, and outspoken in the best way – he had very strong views on painting and sculpture not dissimilar to my own. I just adored him and his work.” Says David.
The resulting maquettes are beautiful pieces in their own right but they also give an idea as to what the final, large-scale bronze will look like.
“There’s an awful lot of statuary which is really dull - you see rather ordinary standing formal sculptures all round the world, and I wanted to get a bit of informality into it. I had to show him as an artist so I chose a pose that worked with his sketchbook, with his bag, sitting down as though he was drawing a landscape - which of course is what he’s famous for. The essence of Kyffin is his landscapes.” David explains.
For further information on David Williams-Ellis, please visit www.dwe.com.