Brid scenery is picture perfect, says Hockney

David Hockney
David Hockney

AHEAD of his first of a kind exhibition in London, Bridlington’s most famous resident has spoken of his love of the town and its surrounding countryside - referring to the town as ‘Bridlywood’.

David Hockney, who launches his ‘Bigger Picture’ exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts next week - his first major landscape exhibition in the UK - has spoken out about his experiences capturing the Wolds landscape.

Hockney Exhibition

Hockney Exhibition

“Bridlington may be physically isolated, but it’s not electronically isolated,” Hockney, a convert to new technology who regularly uses the iPad in his work, told the Guardian newspaper.

“The technology is as good here as it is in LA. Making these films (for the exhibition), we’ve started to call it Bridlywood.

“And while the subject is a very local one, I think my essential interests – in images and how they are made and viewed – have been pretty consistent no matter where I work.”

Routinely called Britain’s greatest living artist, Bradford born Hockney said that since moving to Bridlington in 2004, he began to once again notice the changes in the landscape from season to season.

Over the last year he refused to leave Bridlington “for even a day” so he was not to miss the coming of a new spring.

He continued: “I’ve watched them extremely carefully and have tried to capture as much of it as I could. One year we missed the hawthorn flower because we were away for a week in May. Another time we were supposed to go to LA in June and the hawthorn hadn’t arrived before we left. So this year I refused to leave Bridlington even for a day.”

Hockney, now 74, spoke of his use of the iPad, as well as other modern technology which allowed him to capture the footage that pieces together the climax to the exhibition - a stunning film capturing the changing seasons on Woldgate, shot from nine different high definition cameras mounted on a slow moving jeep and shown through nine different screens.

Hockney said: “With nine cameras your eyes watch in a way they don’t with just one. You continually scan and you look much harder.

“And in a way it is more like drawing. There are questions of composition and infinite ways to do it.”

Hockney has also recently spoken of his love of the tranquil East coast, especially as his hearing is beginning to fail, saying “LA isn’t too bad, New York’s difficult, London I find difficult - so I love the quiet of East Yorkshire”.

He told the Guardian: “I lived in LA so long I’ll always be an English Angeleno, but to me now the big cities are less interesting and sophisticated than they were.

“To get something fresh you have to go back to nature. When they say the landscape genre has been done, that is impossible. You can’t be tired of nature. It is just our way of looking at it that we are tired of. So get a new way of looking at it.”

Hockney’s forthcoming Royal Academy exhibition, which begins on Monday January 23 and runs until April 9, has already saw record demand for tickets, which at one point jammed telephone lines and caused the Academy’s online booking system to crash.