At the end of May, I managed to get myself a ticket to visit
David Hockney's exhibition at the Tate Britain art gallery. These
days, art shows seem to have a super cult following and often
tickets are hard to come by. So I was excited to visit this show,
which is a major retrospective of his life's work.
"I Like To Live in the Now" David
Hockney's art and life go hand in hand. When you see his work
you are seeing a snapshot of his life and at the exhibition you can
really get a sense of the journey that he has taken over the last
When you hear the name Hockney you might think about his
polaroid montages, vivid landscapes or portraits. But you
might also think about his blond hair, stylish hat and jacket,
round glasses and artistic lifestyle. Both his art and lifestyle
are beautifully woven together like the brushstrokes in his
paintings. All these things have continuously drawn me back to his
work over the years.
"Its All About Looking" - David Hockney
At the start of my own art career whilst at University,
Hockney was one of my strongest influences. I loved the series of
work he did called 'Very New Paintings', which show curved shapes
and patterns looping around each other like surrealist landscapes.
This work came out of his involvement with the theatre, and it
inspired me to make make printed fabrics that I upholstered onto
Way back to my school days David Hockney has been there, and
he has kept inspiring me since, with his new ideas, optimistic and
vibrant colour pallets and innovations. For me he is the kind
of inspiration that makes you want more and makes me want to paint.
Pictured below is - Pearblossom Hwy, 11 - 18th April 1986, #2,
which I remember being on the wall at our school.
'Drawing makes you see things clearer,
and clearer and clearer still, until your eyes ache.'
Hockney's enduring message is that art is about looking at the
world around you. Recently, I went on trip down the river Nene in
Northamptonshire in a canal boat, and along the way made
photographs and produced drawings. As soon as I picked up the
pencil and started to look, make marks on paper, I was in the
moment and happy.
Stopping to look, really look, puts you in the present and
helps you to appreciate everything around you. So, I am totally in
agreement with David Hockney - looking is a great way to connect
with yourself and your surroundings.
The Yorkshire Wolds - A Bigger Picture.
In one of the rooms at the exhibition, on each of the four
walls is one of the most innovative ideas to come out of Hockney's
work in recent years. Nine cameras, mounted on a frame are
synchronised, to film the changing seasons in the Yorkshire
Each camera captures a different part of the landscape and
when combined encourage you to look in a different way at the scene
before you. On each wall in the gallery, the screens show a
different season of the same place. The beauty of nature beams out
the movies and the detail, combined with movement is like gentle
music for your eyes.
Looking at the World through Hockney's Eyes.
Visiting this show was a wonderful experience, because David
Hockney encapsulates for me, everything an artist should be. An
artist views the world with awe and delight and wants everybody
else to see what he or she is experiencing. I can't wait to see
what he does next.
Right, I am off to make my next series of work based on the
Nene River in Northamptonshire!