Tributes have been paid to a “genius” sculptor who lived in the city.

David Whipp was a well-respected metal worker who made sculptures with “vivid imagination”.

His older brother Brian, 82, spoke of his younger sibling’s talents which ranged from models of animals, to vintage cars and motorbikes or even an 18ft-long sculpture of the city’s West Pier.

David died aged 80 at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on January 17.

The brothers were raised in Buckingham Road during the 1940s by their mother Jean Whipp, a single mother who became a wedding dressmaker to support raising her sons.

The Argus: David lived in Brighton for all his life. Pictured in 2003David lived in Brighton for all his life. Pictured in 2003 (Image: Supplied)

“My brother was well-regarded in Brighton, he was a character,” said Brian, a former Adur councillor who still lives in Shoreham.

“He was very engaging. He could talk the hind leg off a donkey. He was on a business trip in South Africa around 1995 and was invited to a reception with Nelson Mandela. He was the sort of character who would get around and know people.

“A lot of his work was bought by private collectors. He used to go every weekend to Green Park in London in the 80s and would sell his sculptures to tourists.

The Argus: David with his sculpture of the West PierDavid with his sculpture of the West Pier (Image: Supplied)

“He was an artist in metal, he was a genius with what he could do with his hands.

“David even made an 18ft sculpture for the West Pier Preservation Society.

“He always believed in doing things with his hands.”

David, a father-of-five and grandfather-of-four, featured in the Evening Argus several times including editions in 1982 and 1986.

As a young man in the 1960s, he was sponsored by Lucy Wertheim, an art gallery owner and patron.

He also took on a welding and soldering course in the early 1970s.

The Argus: David at his workshop in 2012David at his workshop in 2012 (Image: Supplied)

David had a workshop in Brighton where he made his sculptures and also lived in Preston Road for much of his life.

Brian added: “We were brought up post-war with rationing. My mother was a skilled dressmaker which made her money post-war. I think David got the skill from his mother of using his hands.

“We took a different path in life, he took a career as an artist and I worked on the railways and in politics.”