David Hall – Recycling woodsmith

3 by Michael Brady 3

A tall, slim man picks through a furniture factory rubbish heap, examining each bit of wood, keeping some, discarding others. His search seems purposeful. Indeed it is, for his finds will end up in exhibitions and on bookshelves in homes and offices in the Pyrénées- Orientales as well as abroad.

Wood sculptor David Hall explains that the inspiration for his figurative and abstract works comes from the variety of bits of wood he finds. Sometimes he is intrigued by a feature in the wood itself, and sometimes he imposes an idea on the wood, but he always seeks simple forms that permit enhancing grains and natural colours. All his works are single pieces, with no glue or colour stain, and all are finished only with wax or penetrating oil.

His minimalist approach springs from an early fascination with form and design. In his 20s, the fascination had expanded to include architecture and naval architecture, as he pursued a career in cargo and container shipping. When he found time, he carved, designed jewellery and made furniture

The turning point came 25 years ago, when he and his wife, Ellen, bought land and built a holiday home in Colloure, drawn from his native England by “the mountains and sea, sun guaranteed in summer, and good communications.” Ten years ago, he took early retirement, settled permanently in Collioure and set up a proper woodsmith workshop. In the past four years, he has held exhibitions in Banyuls-sur-mer, Collioure, Port Vendres and Perpignan in the Pyrénés-Orientales and in Mirepoix in Ariège.

A dozen of his works are on display until April 2007 at Les Caves du Roussillon at 6 pl Gén Leclerc in Collioure, and works not yet sold as well as a complete photo catalogue of all works to date may be viewed by appointment at his workshop, Tel. 04 68823550.

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