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David prepares Wolf sculpture for Elgin unveiling

By SPP Reporter

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David Annand crouches beside a much smaller version of his Wolf of Badenoch sculpture.
David Annand crouches beside a much smaller version of his Wolf of Badenoch sculpture.

ONE of Moray’s most notorious historical characters will soon be welcoming residents and visitors as they pass through Elgin.

David Annand is one of three artists to have had his work chosen for a new tourism project, which forms part of the town’s Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere project.

Mr Annand’s piece is an impressive depiction of the Earl of Buchan, Alexander Stewart.

Better known as the Wolf of Badenoch, Stewart rampaged throughout Speyside in the 1300s.

The bronze-cast Wolf will be unveiled on December 17.

Two other specially commissioned pieces will also be disclosed that same day.

These will be Elgin’s Town Drummer by Alan Herriot and the Dandy Lion by Vik Quickly.

These successful entries were all chosen from a shortlist of four following a competition for entries which was launched in March.

The Wolf of Badenoch will stand two metres tall and be situated on ground to the west of the town centre, near the roundabout with the High Street and Alexander Road.

He will stand beneath an arch – depicting Elgin Cathedral – which will stretch approximately four metres from the ground.

The life-size bronze model of drummer William Edward – who held the job for over 60 years from 1760 – will be placed towards the east of the town centre near Commerce Street. It will include a child running up behind the drummer, mimicking him by hitting a cooking pot with a stick, and a dog jumping up.

Dressed in a scarlet jacket, top hat, monocle and cane from the 1800s, the Dandy Lion will stand over two metres high.

This creation will be positioned near the Plainstones in the town centre.

The multi-coloured statue will have a fish’s tail, which pays tribute to all of the vendors who brought their seafood to sell on the Plainstones.

It was also at the market that men and women looking for agricultural work would carry a dandelion.

Mr Annand was in Elgin last Friday to view first hand where his sculpture will be positioned.

He told The Northern Scot that his depiction of the Wolf will have a high degree of historical accuracy after he used pictures at his actual tomb at Dunkeld Cathedral to gain inspiration for his armour and other elements of the sculpture.

However, due to the poor state of the face and feet of the Wolf’s stone effigy, which is positioned at his burial site in the cathedral, Mr Annand had to use his own imagination as well.

The Fife-based artist, who has had pieces commissioned throughout the UK, said he was happy with how the Wolf was progressing.

And the artist, who is also behind the stag and ospreys at Baxters of Fochabers, said he was looking forward to the December 17 unveiling.

Mr Annand said he was

eager to make the Wolf as historically accurate as possible.

He was asked to create a statue after learning that the team behind the Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere project had been successful in securing funding.

"I used all of the information I had," he said.

"I just invented his face

because it (the face on his tombstone) was smashed. It was beneficial for me because I did not have to go for any particular likeness.

"It’s been really interesting. I have also really enjoyed doing his face and making him look nasty."

Mr Annand, who has been creating similar sculptures for almost 30 years, said he has fond childhood memories of Moray.

"I had an auntie in Buckie and she used to take me to Elgin when I was a child," he said.

"We went to look at the boats in the park and I was told about him then.

"He was excommunicated and left his wife with his children. He then came into Elgin and let rip.

"He was not a very nice guy but he did make up for it.

"His father was King Robert II and he made him reform and so he had to confess his sins.

"On bended knee he begged forgiveness."

Mr Annand said he has a number of other pieces on the go, together with the Wolf.

He has been creating depictions of soldiers to mark the centenary of World War I, he explained, while some of his previous pieces have included musician Rory Gallagher in Ireland, the Reel of Three at the Dalmarnoch Road Roundabout in Glasgow, The Writers at Braehead in Renfrew and the Value of Perspective at Exeter Crown and County Court. More information on his work is available at www.davidannand.com

Mr Annand said that his work has taken him all over the UK.

"And it’s great to come back here. It’s one of the great things about what I do," he added.

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