Alex Witcombe is a master when it comes to driftwood creations. No, he doesn’t make driftwood furniture or lamps but creates incredible sculptures out of them. This Canadian sculptor was initially a bit reserved and not keen on publicity. It was only after people started discovering his driftwood sculptures installed at various locations that his art came to the fore.
Witcombe fell in love with driftwood as a kid, growing up on Vancouver Island. The beach there was full of driftwood. As a fan of dinosaurs, he visualized the different shaped pieces of driftwood as the bones and skulls of these giant creatures. So, it wasn’t surprising that his first sculpture was that of a dinosaur, a Velociraptor, to be precise. When his creation went viral on social media, there was no looking back for him.
Witcombe graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada. Although he started out with other forms of art, it was driftwood sculpting that he really wanted to pursue. He started creating free public art on the beaches. By and by, he got some big commissions, such as creating a life-size Wooly Mammoth and a calf at Colwood on Vancouver Island, Peabody the Raccoon on the Campbell River’s sea walk that greets all those driving along Highway 19a, and many more.
From working with all kinds of wood, Witcombe now works with only certain woods, like fir, cedar, and hardwoods. However, he loves utilizing gnarly, twisted pieces of any wood in his works. For him, sculpting with driftwood is the easy part, more challenging is figuring out how to give shape to his creatures. It is his incredible imagination that enables him to visualize them.
Today, Witcombe is the owner of Drifted Creations in Courtenay, a city on the east coast of Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia. He has donated many of his creations as public art and they are located throughout the region. It is interesting to note that finding his driftwood sculptures has become a sort of scavenger hunt for locals and visitors alike.