UK: World famous artist David Hockney finds a “massacre” of a mighty group of trees he’s been painting in Yorkshire

World famous artist David Hockney has been left shocked by the “massacre” of a mighty group of trees he has been painting on the Yorkshire Wolds. Hockney has been painting the copse close to Warter, in the East Riding, for the last couple of years and had completed two studies in the summer and winter. But returning last week to start work on a new painting for spring, he discovered the woodland which had stood there for over a century had been chopped down, leaving nothing but piles of sawn logs.

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“If they had pulled down a great church people would have seen and asked questions, but nobody asked about these trees. Nobody asks enough questions any more.” But all is not lost – Hockney has decided that the desolate scene will be the subject of a painting as the cut limbs “are quite beautiful in their own right.”

The trees belonged to the Warter estate, which is owned by Malcolm Healey, one of the country’s richest men. The estate gained permission from the Forestry Commission last year to fell the sycamores and beeches because of
their poor condition.

The woodland will be replanted. “The idea of clear felling is, as far as we are concerned, an anathema.” Hockney’s two paintings of the copse are being shown at an exhibition next month at the Wurtz museum in Kunzelsau, Germany.

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