david williams-ellis

A life in sculpture

"The excitement I get from being a sculptor is to give to other people that visceral feeling of the human figure within it’s environment, whether it’s a still static figure, that has an inner sense to it, or whether it is a moving figure that has masses of energy."

David Williams-Ellis' sculptures are inspired by the romanticism of Rodin and Bourdelle, they are noted for their classical balance and poise and above all for a sense of movement and vitality captured within the form. It’s the powerful energy of David’s work that thrusts its way beyond the ornamental and gives it its definitive contemporary edge. David has a distinguished artistic pedigree. His great uncle was Clough Williams-Ellis, the architect who created the Italianate village of Portmeiron in Wales.

David sought out a classical training in Florence under the legendary octogenarian drawing teacher, Nerina Simi. From there he went on to be an apprentice wood carver and then joined a community of marble carvers in Pietresanta beneath the Carrara Mountains. It was a chance encounter with a girl sitting on a pillar that planted the seed of inspiration that would later flower into his signature style.

David’s reputation  was cemented and soon he was travelling round Britain sculpting commissioned portraits. Exhibitions at the Portland Gallery, the Bruton Gallery, Agnews, Sladmore and Cadogan Contemporary followed.

Today his work is in private collections all over the world and can be seen dominating public spaces and flagship buildings from Scone Palace in Perthshire to the IFC Building in Shanghai, Swires in Hong Kong and above Gold Beach in Normandy. He continues to sculpt both public and private commissions.

On 6th June 2019 David’s biggest project to date, the D-Day Sculpture, was unveiled in Normandy above Gold beach by the President of France and the Prime Minister.

david williams-ellis
"Life can be very dull without a lot to look at, and sculpture is a way of enhancing it"
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Notable Public Commissions

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Commissioned by the Normandy Memorial Trust to create the D-Day Sculpture. The sculpture was unveiled on 6th June 2019 in the presence of Prime Minister Theresa May and President Emmanuel Macron on 75th anniversary of D-Day at the Normandy Memorial, Ver sur Mer, to commemorate the 22,442 soldiers under British command who died on D-Day and the days thereafter.
David was selected by Aberdeen City Council to create a sculpture to commemorate all the men and women who have served in the city’s fishing Industry. It will consist of two sculptures, a fisherwoman and a fisherman, that will stand outside the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, due for completion and unveiling in the first half of 2018.​
In 2016 Williams-Ellis was commissioned by the Eden Rivers Trust to sculpt two over life-size bronzes of a cock and hen salmon to be sold by the trust in order to raise money to support their campaign and fundraising initiatives to save the wild salmon and stop their decline in both the River Eden and other rivers across Britain.
Commissioned by Mary Yapp of the Albany Gallery, Kyffin’s agent in Wales and designed for Oriel Ynys Mon, where the Kyffin Williams Collection is housed.
Commissioned in 2008 the 10-ton statue now stands outside the south stand of the Prac Y Scarlets stadium.

Portrait Bust Commissions

Alan Turing, Sherborne School​
Henry Harper-Crewe and Lord Vernon, National Trust
​Trevor Clay, The Royal College of Nurses​
Robert Willett
The Hon Edward Fairfax​
The Duchess of Abercorn
Ladies Tamara and Edwina Grosvenor​
Lord Shuttleworth, The National Trust
Otis, Isaac, Tara and Merlin Ferry​
Lord Aberconway, Bodnant House​
Lord Glamis, Glamis Castle​
The Lord St. Oswald, Nostell Priorty, The National Trust
Sir David Butter​
Lord Ballyedmond​
Simon Cadbury​
Desmond Thompson, Queens University, Belfast
​Camilla Baring​
Sir Richard Brooke
Duncan Maclaren
Nicholas Durlacher, L.I.F.F.E​
Professor Barry O’Donnell, The Royal College of Surgeons
​Lord Soulsby, The Royal College of Vetinarary Surgeons
Gordon Richards, Carlisle Racecourse​
Sir Kyffin Williams, The Royal Cambrian Academy
Sir Denis Rooke, Loughborough University​
John Monckton, The Knights of Malta​
John Chichester Constable, Burton Constable Hall​
Anthony Berry, Berry Brothers Wine
Henry Hoare for C. Hoare & Co., London