Investigation after David Hockney assistant dies
POLICE are investigating how a studio assistant to the artist David Hockney died after he was taken to hospital from the painter’s home.
• Friend and assistant to artist David Hockney died after being taken to Scarborough hospital
• Death is being treated as unexplained but police have ruled out violence
Tributes have been paid to Dominic Elliott, 23, who had been in Hockney’s house near the seafront in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
Keen sportsman Mr Elliott worked as a personal assistant to the 75-year-old, setting up equipment and helping him in his studio.
He has also been the subject of more than one Hockney portrait.
Humberside Police said yesterday the circumstances of his death were “not clear”.
Mr Elliott died at Scarborough General Hospital on Sunday morning after he was brought in by a friend.
It is understood that friend is not Hockney, who is said to be very upset by Mr Elliott’s death.
Humberside Police said: “The 23-year-old man was sadly pronounced dead at hospital and the police notified.
“The circumstances of the man’s death are not clear and officers are currently undertaking inquiries to establish events leading to his death.”
The spokesman said there were no signs of violence and that a post-mortem was due to take place today.
Bradford-born Hockney is sometimes referred to as Britain’s greatest living artist and is one of the most influential cultural figures of the last 50 years.
Some of his recent work, inspired by the countryside not far from Bridlington, was celebrated at the Royal Academy of Arts last year with an exhibition of his large-scale landscapes, called A Bigger Picture.
Hockney’s famous artworks include A Bigger Splash, a vivid depiction of a Los Angeles swimming pool, and the portrait Mr And Mrs Clark And Percy.
In recent years he has been exploring the possibilities of using an iPad for his art.
Hockney has made no public comment about Mr Elliott’s death and it was not known yesterday whether he was at home at the weekend.
Mr Elliott was understood to be a Bridlington man who was recruited a number of years ago to help Hockney as he based himself in the resort and concentrated his art on the Yorkshire Wolds and surrounding area.
He was a well-known local sportsman, especially as a hockey and rugby player.
Bridlington Rugby Club issued a statement that said: “Bridlington Rugby Club would like to send their condolences to the family of Dom Elliott.
“He played for the club at both second team and first team level, he will be sadly missed by all the players and club members.”
Club chairman Gordon Morrice told the Bridlington Free Press: “Dominic was a valued member of our club, a good player with great potential.
“With his size and ability he could easily have established himself as a first team regular.
“He was a popular lad and had so many friends at the club.”
The club said Mr Elliott, who only took up rugby a couple of years ago, played for the club’s second team.
Mr Elliott also played for Driffield Hockey Club. The club’s First XI captain, Adam Saltonstall, tweeted yesterday: “Fantastic player, much loved by all. Will be sadly missed.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South