A SCULPTOR is hoping his “very unusual” grotesque model of a masked medic can support a hospital cancer team close to his heart.

Rory Young created a huge limestone design of an NHS worker as part of his work for Christchurch Priory’s £480,000 restoration project in winter 2020/21.

After receiving a terminal diagnosis for liver cancer this year, Rory, 68, decided to auction off the polystyrene and plaster model he initially created for the medic sculpture.

The model is painted to look identical to the stone carving, measuring 22 inches wide, 17.5 inches high and 24 inches deep.

Bournemouth Echo: The limestone grotesque in situ on Christchurch PrioryThe limestone grotesque in situ on Christchurch Priory

Rory’s timed auction has an estimate of £4,000 to £6,000 with all proceeds from the sale going to Cheltenham General Hospital’s cancer unit, where Rory was treated.

“From the first visit to a young doctor at my surgery to the four-hour operation and five days in Cheltenham Hospital I had first class care,” Rory said.

“I had got to my 68th birthday having hardly needed the NHS and now when in need, there it was for me.

“I’m so grateful for their perceptive diagnosis of the urgency of the situation and for fast tracking me through the system in 24 days from the doctor’s initial examination to being operated on. All the staff were so professional attentive and caring.

“I hope my model of this very unusual subject for a ‘gargoyle’ will auction for a lot more than the estimate.

"My surgeon and team are excited about the idea as they are currently improving the unit, I gather.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Rory’s sculptures for the Priory were made out of Lépine limestone from France.

Inspired by a photograph of architect Columba Cook’s niece – a doctor working in the intensive care unit – it took Rory and a colleague about four weeks to carve.

He first created the full-scale polystyrene model of the head, which he is auctioning.

Five other grotesques and gargoyles that had become unrecognisable due to centuries of erosion have also been replaced with new offerings.

Grotesques are a decorative stone carving, whereas a gargoyle acts as a spout to drain water away from the building.

Bournemouth Echo:

The other artworks included the former Christchurch mayor and burgess James Druitt, the Royal cypher in recognition of Queen Elizabeth II being the longest reigning English monarch and a bespectacled Sir Donald Bailey, who designed the Bailey bridge during the Second World War.

Rory also created ten other grotesques and gargoyles on the Priory, including a mermaid, bat, ram and deer.

Bids for the model of the medic must be submitted to rory.carpediem@gmail.com, with the timed auction closing at 2pm on Saturday, July 9.