Dewsbury says goodbye to legendary artist who made the Queen smile

A town’s artistic community remains in mourning after the death of David John Wood MBE who founded Dewsbury Arts Group (DAG).

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 7:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 7:14 pm
The Drunkard

Mr Wood, who died aged 83 of long-term health issues, according to friends, had his funeral service under Covid-19 social distancing restrictions at Macclesfield crematorium.

A pivotal figure in Dewsbury, Mr Wood was author to 79 plays, and both he and his wife, Judith, received MBEs individually, but were presented with their awards together by the Queen – with David famously succeeding in making the Queen smile.

Chairman of Dewsbury Arts Group, Mark Bailey said: “It’s with great sadness, and yet great fondness we have to share the passing of David Wood MBE, our long time chair, founder and the spiritual embodiment of our society.

The Baker's Wife

“His life touched so many others in positive ways, not just those involved in DAG, but from many walks of life where he encouraged and inspired many.

“Our thoughts are with Judith, Richard and Andrew (sons) and their families at this sad time.

“We hope they can take comfort that David was such a giant of a man and his shadow is always going to be there to remind us of his laughter, his energy, his wit, his kindness, and his ability to see the potential in others and draw out their best.

“Goodbye old friend. We’ll miss you terribly but we’ll try to make you proud in all we do.”

Treasure Island

Mr Wood’s former drama pupils include actress Penny Layden and artist Damien Hirst.

He was an artist, playwright, author, landscape artist, set-designer, graphic designer, stage director, actor and drama teacher lived and worked for most of his life at the centre of the know Universe, or Dewsbury, as it is known locally.

His paintings are nearly always intimate British landscapes, usually in Oils but occasionally in Mixed Media.

Under the pen name of David Foxton, David’s plays are performed widely throughout this county and America.

David Wood

He had been living in Macclesfield for the past two years to be closer to his family.

They include a number of one-act plays for both adults and youth performers, many of which are popular as Festival plays with British Amateur Theatrical companies.

His list of published plays includes many full-length plays designed for Children and Family Audiences.