• Dominic Elliott rushed to Scarborough Hospital by friend at 6am yesterday
  • He ‘was on night out and went back to Hockney’s home’ before falling ill
  • 23-year-old was recruited by Hockney, 75, to set up equipment for art works
  • Reports say artist was in Bridlington, East Yorks, when tragedy happened
  • Rugby club friends say Dominic was ‘absolute bundle of fun and energy’

Mark Duell and Suzannah Hills

08:42, 18 March 2013


12:24, 18 March 2013

David Hockney’s personal assistant has died after being taken ill at the renowned British artist’s seaside home.

Dominic Elliott, 23, was a close friend of the artist and helped him set up his equipment when he was working on his projects and exhibitions. Mr Hockney, 75, even painted a portrait of Mr Elliott in 2008.

Mr Elliott was rushed to Scarborough Hospital in North Yorkshire at 6am yesterday from Mr Hockney’s home in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, in a serious condition, before being pronounced dead.

A local resident claimed Mr Elliott had been on a night out and returned to Mr Hockney’s home where he fell ill. The renowned artist is believed to have been in the area.

David Hockney
Keen sportsman: Dominic Elliott, assistant of artist David Hockney, played rugby and hockey (pictured)

Friends: Renowned artist David Hockney (left) employed keen sportsman Dominic Elliott (right) as an assistant

House: Mr Elliott was taken from David Hockney's home (pictured today) in Bridlington, East Yorkshire

House: Mr Elliott was taken from David Hockney’s home (pictured today) in Bridlington, East Yorkshire

Locals told how Mr Elliott played for Bridlington Rugby Club, and a statement on the club’s website said: ‘Bridlington Rugby Club would like to send their condolences to the family of Dom Elliott. 

Pictured: David Hockney, 75, painted a portrait of his assistant Dominic Elliott, 23, in 2008

Pictured: David Hockney, 75, painted a portrait of his assistant Dominic Elliott, 23, in 2008

‘He played for the club at both second team and first team level. He will be sadly missed by all the players and Club members.’

The club’s director of rugby Rich Girking told the Bridlington Free Press: ‘He was a cracking lad – an absolute bundle of fun and energy. He was constantly smiling and was a joy to be around.

‘When he was out, he was the life and soul of the party, a fun-loving guy who was larger than life and everyone enjoyed his company. It’s an absolute tragedy.’

Mr Elliott also played hockey and was said to have been a member of the Bridlington branch of the East Riding Young Farmers Club.

A friend, who did not wish to be named, said he was an outgoing person and added: ‘I believe his dad died some years ago, so it was just him and his mum and his sister. Dom was Bridlington-born and bred and didn’t seem to have any plans to go anywhere – he just loved working for Hockney.

Dominic Elliott
Dominic Elliott

Outgoing: Mr Elliott played hockey and rugby and was said to have been in the East Riding Young Farmers Club

Talented: This 2004 painting Four Roads and Cornfields is a prime example of Hockney's much-loved artwork

Talented: This 2004 painting Four Roads and Cornfields is a prime example of Hockney’s much-loved artwork

‘I have heard he was on a night out in Bridlington and went back to Hockney’s home afterwards.’


David Hockney

Bradford-born David Hockney’s colourful paintings often showcase landscape of his native Yorkshire or his adopted home in California.

He was the subject of a
major exhibition at the Royal Academy in London last year with an exhibition of his large scale landscapes.

The artist is famous for artworks such as A Bigger Splash, a vivid depiction of a Los Angeles swimming pool, and the portrait Mr And Mrs Clark And Percy.

In recent years he has been exploring the possibilities of using an iPad for his artworks.

Police were contacted by the hospital after Mr Elliott was taken there by a friend and later died.

A Humberside Police spokesman said: ‘The
circumstances of the man’s death are not clear and officers are
currently undertaking enquiries to establish events leading to his

‘There were no signs of violence and a
post-mortem examination is due to take place tomorrow which is hoped
may provide further information.’

Hockney is one of Britain’s best-known artists after a long career as a modern art pioneer.

He has also courted controversy, as he was openly gay at a time when homosexuality was largely taboo. He met his partner John Fitzherbert, a professional chef, at a lunch in London 23 years ago.

Hockney is also known for his love of tobacco and his campaigning for the rights of smokers.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

So young to die and awful time for all concerned I expect. I love David Hockney’s work but I appreciate that he will be rather modern for some tastes. Long may he continue.


18/3/2013 11:58

I am so very sorry to hear this. Rest in peace Dominic. A very special and beautiful person, full of the joy of life and taken far too soon. My thoughts go out to his family and also to David on the loss of his young assistant.


18/3/2013 11:58

A total tragedy RIP Dominic


18/3/2013 11:45

How does a seemingly healthy 23year old just die?


Manchester, United Kingdom,
18/3/2013 11:39

I hope the police investigate fully so this poor young man’s family get closure.

Walter White

Watchin, United Kingdom,
18/3/2013 11:39

oh no soo sorry my heart goes out to you and the family – why does this crap happen


18/3/2013 11:34

I LOVE Hockney’s work – the colours are just spectacular. I am sorry for the loss of this young man, RIP.


Nottingham, United Kingdom,
18/3/2013 11:00

A sad day for my town condolences to Dominic’s family RIP


East yorks, United Kingdom,
18/3/2013 10:58

My smpathy to David Hockney on the tragic loss of his friend and helper,but to be honest,I think the renowned artists work in very child like.

norman miles

gloucester, United Kingdom,
18/3/2013 10:26

Only 23 year old! Too young! RIP


London, United Kingdom,
18/3/2013 10:21

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