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Artist Dan goes out on a limb

18 January, 2018 — By John Gulliver

Dan Llywelyn-Hall with his portrait of Amy Winehouse at the London Art Fair, which runs until Sunday January 21 at the Business Design Centre, Upper Street, N1. www.londonartfair.co.uk

I DISCOVERED this week that the Hampstead artist Dan Llywelyn-Hall, whom I interviewed the other week, has a side I never knew of before. He loves trees – and he is willing to put himself on the line for them.

Recently, he has joined that valiant band of conservationists in Sheffield who are trying to stop the vandals at their local town hall from removing a beautiful line of tress planted in 1919 to represent those who had attended local schools and never returned from the front. Rightly, the campaign has made the headlines since last year.

Artists usually stick to the canvas and keep politics beyond the door. But there have been exceptions. Picasso was an exception. Banksy another. Now Dan joins this illustrious brotherhood.

“Trees are beautiful things – we need them,” he told me over the phone as he was hanging his portraits at the London Art Fair at the Business Design Centre in Islington. “We need to be less cavalier about them. We need more and more as the population increases.”

Pen pushers in local government have been responsible in recent years for the terrible destruction of trees. Trees that once graced our streets have sadly fallen in this way in Camden.

“If I’m called to help I will certainly go up to Sheffield again,” Dan said.

My colleague snapped him with a portrait of Amy Winehouse which he painted after a chance encounter with the singer at her local, the Hawley Arms, in Camden Town in 2009. He based it on a photograph. Recently, he has also painted a portrait of David Bowie.

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