|'Winter Timber' by David Hockney|
He was quoted in The Guardian as saying, "It is something that has made me depressed. It was just a spite. There are loads of very mean things here now in Britain." He has been to see the damaged stump and is doing drawings of it as a way of dealing with the saddening turn of events.
The tree was spraypainted some time before it was actually hacked in two. Here's the stump at full height but grafitti-ed:
It does seem incredible that this block of dead wood, which had particular meaning for Hockney -- he referred to it as his 'totem' -- should have been singled out for deliberate spoiling. It seems to suggest someone with a reasonable degree of awareness of modern art but also a bent for vandalism. I'd like to think those two things would be would be incompatible but it seems not.
Apart from Hockney's own beautiful artworks to memorialise the tree, there's still another way to see it. If, as I'm wont to do, you go travelling on Google Street View, you can visit the location of the tree stump and see it still standing, in rather lovely wintry sunlight. It's in Sands Wood, on Woldgate, the road from Bridlington to Kilham.