David Hockney Exhibition 2017

June 06 2017

The Life of the Artist Woven into his Work.

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.

Nichols Canyon, 1980. By David Hockney

"I Like To Live in the Now" David Hockney

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 60 years. 

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.

The Twelve Very New Painting by David Hockney.

"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 two sofa's.

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.

Pear Blossom Highway by David Hockney

'Drawing makes you see things clearer, 
and clearer and clearer still, until your eyes ache.' 

David Hockney
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 Wolds.

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!