Heavy metal rules

DAVID Wilson is a big, tough tow truck driver ? but he's also winning plaudits alongside international artists at sculpture festivals. The 39-year-old boss of Toormina's Rebel Towing is among 40 Australian and international sculptors represented in the Swell Currumbin Sculpture Festival being held on the Gold Coast. His two-metre long Komodo dragon made entirely of recycled car parts is currently among the Festival sculptures exhibited on the Currumbin Beach Open Walkway. The metal monster radiates menace as it crouches on claws made from gearbox selectors and wheel nuts, flicking a tongue made of motor bike chain and a tail made from gear wheels. A visit to Mr Wilson's tow truck shed is an eye-opener, as he, his partner and the tow trucks share the premises with metal creatures like a gargoyle, a butterfly, Ned Kelly, dogs of various shapes and sizes, a cartoonish cat and a crouching wolf, all one-off creation made from car parts. Extraordinarily, Mr Wilson has never studied art and began creating his metal monsters less than 12 months ago. "I can't draw and I can't even measure two sticks the same length," Mr Wilson said "but I've always been involved in the automotive side and I build our own tow trucks." Mr Wilson said because he knows all the parts that go to make up a car ? or a truck or a motor bike, he knows what parts will go where to create the picture he has in his head. The sculptures have both per- sonality and whimsical touches of humour ? Ned Kelly has a wire springs beard, rings on his fingers and swivels his torso to face the troopers with his double-barrelled exhaust and the wolf incorporates a fuel pump which 'woofs'. He said visitors to the Currumbin sculpture spent ages trying to identify where all the parts came from. He has already been invited back for next year.

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