In a jostling, bustling, hogarthian, crowd scene, hands reached for guide books on Yorkshire, amidst the umbrellas, postcards, and souvenirs at the end of David Hockney’s A Bigger Picture. The lad from Bradford, has done us proud; as people from around the world queue to oooooo and ahhhhhh, at the jewel coloured Saltaire, and woods around Bridlington. I do hope, if they make their way to our climes, they realize Salts Mill will be robed in a more enigmatic palette of grey.
More than anything, it is the sheer quantity of pictures, many of the same scene, each using colour to capture a different seasonal ambiance, that impresses. I’m sure some BBC culture bod would enthuse about post modern relevance, or sneer at delusions of lost Empire – as the hegemony takes them. However, I left feeling proud of our county, and with ideas running through my head – isn’t that what art if for?
One of Hockney’s room was called Trees and Totems, he’s taken a dead tree, that has been pollarded and left to stand (see RA link above), “seeing the nobility in its reduced, sculptural form” the brochure says. He’s then painted the scene, in many different lights, contrasting it with logs lying nearby. The tree, looks similar to the old horse chustnut in the Park – that now has logs at its base. And, it struck me, that there is an art/photography project in that tree for local students and enthusiasts of ‘sculptural form’. The light in the Park can certainly vary, and a visit to London to get inspiration from Hockney’s eye would be well worthwhile – if you haven’t got tickets, which I didn’t, you will have to queue.
For anyone who has been to the exhibition, open until 9 April, I notice that there is now a Hockney Trail around Woldgate woods: it may be as well to get there soon, before the hordes of visitors start arriving, guide book in hand!!
For anyone who uses the Park tree as a project and wants to put the results on this site, we would love to have them.