Wooden Sculpture Displayed at EDC

Mon, 26/02/2001 - 00:00

A two-metre high wooden sculpture has gone on display at a County Durham college.

‘Pukka’, a carved wooden hand, was created by Seaham-based sculptor David Gross and has been installed at East Durham College in Peterlee.

The 51 year old artist, who likes to think big, is well known for his large creations made out of chain sawed wood, ice and snow - such as six of the carved sculptors in Chopwell Wood Gateshead and the ‘Port of Tyne Whirligig’, a large scale wind-driven sculpture outside The Port of Tyne Offices in South Shields.

David Gross said: “I believe it’s important that sculptures in public places should be meaningful and engaging to the people who see them every day, not just admired by the odd few with a special interest in art.”

The artwork is one of seven pieces in a series of hands. ‘Pukka’ was made from a laburnum tree which fell during heavy snow in Peterlee in 2009, and visually signifies the slang word Pukka - well used by Essex chef Jamie Oliver.

“The large carved hands I create are a celebration of manual work, and of ingenuity, as well as an investigation into forms of non-verbal communication.

“Tool marks from the chainsaw, chisel and grinder create a weather beaten surface that sometimes belies the hand’s signal. Knots and cracks in the wood become scars and calluses,” David added.

The artwork has gone on display as a prelude to a full exhibition that the East Durham Artists’ Network (EDAN) plans to hold at the College.

Paul Wheatcroft, Director of Creative Industries at the College, explained: “We hope to display all of David’s carvings in the Atrium as part of the EDAN exhibition.

“Also our art students will also be working with wood for the first time, so I felt exhibiting ‘Pukka’ would be a great way to excite and inspire them when they come to use this wonderful material.”