David Hockney at 80

Bradford-born David Hockney, the godfather of British art, is synonymous with America and a vivid world of swimming pools, sunshine, palm trees and luxurious living. However, all that is about to change as his latest body of landscape work reclaims Hockney for the county of his birth.

80th Birthday

To celebrate David Hockney’s 80th birthday a new gallery has opened in his home city of Bradford. It has been created in close collaboration with his studio and follows the first steps on his incredible journey towards becoming one of the world’s most significant living artists. “The David Hockney Gallery” at Cartwright Hall will focus on his formative years in Yorkshire.

The permanent exhibition includes:

  • Personal family photos displayed publicly for the first time
  • A new short film of unreleased material of Hockney talking and working at his Bridlington studio
  • Rarely exhibited early sketchbooks
  • The largest public collection of work from his time at Bradford School of Art
  • Original artwork created at Cartwright Hall by Hockney’s father Kenneth at a workshop in the building in 1974

Cartwright Hall is now the home of the largest public collection of Hockney’s earliest work and has a significant number of works created at Bradford School of Art between 1953-57 before he went to the Royal College of Art, London. 

Pages from Hockney’s family photo albums spanning three decades (1960s – 80s) are also on display, offering a rare and intimate glimpse into his personal life. The images show day trips with his family, snaps at his childhood home in Bradford and the artist’s beloved dogs at his home in LA.

A new short film will also be viewable in the gallery, featuring unseen footage of David Hockney working in Yorkshire. It’s compiled from the 100 hours collected for the 2009 film ‘David Hockney – A Bigger Picture’.

Local places that inspired Hockney also feature in the exhibition. A specially created map of Bradford noting local places referenced by Hockney in his work will be illustrated by a selection of paintings, sketches and photographs.

DH-80: David Hockney – 80 Short Films for his 80th Year

The videos are taken from a new series of 80 short filmsby Bruno Wollheim. Unseen, amusing, interesting, quirky, provocative, personal, eccentric vignettes from the five years (2004–9) that Wollheim filmed his award-winning documentary A Bigger Picture, the films celebrate Britain’s greatest and best-loved living artist at 80. The 80 films and the full-length documentary are available online at www.a-bigger-picture.com





A Bigger Picture

Bradford-born David Hockney, the godfather of British art, is synonymous with America and a vivid world of swimming pools, sunshine, palm trees and luxurious living. However, all that is about to change as his latest body of landscape work reclaims Hockney for the county of his birth.

The undoubted show stealer of his Royal Academy exhibition, is the Yorkshire landscape and in particular the Yorkshire Wolds an area Hockney knew as a child.

He used the landscape he knew so well as the inspiration for a bold new collection of paintings, sketches, iPad and film work which have come together at the Royal Academy in London.

If you miss the exhibition but still want to see the landscape and sites that so inspired Britain’s greatest living artist then it is possible to walk in his footsteps by visiting the following places:

Three Top Hockney Sites

Salts Mill

Hockney has a personal relationship with the family that own Salts Mill, the Silvers, and they are the very reason he started to paint his native Wolds.

As such it is the location for one of the world’s largest collections of his work in the 1853 Gallery. It is also located in the wonderfully evocative World Heritage Site of Saltaire which adds to the atmosphere and is the perfect place to spend a day.

The Yorkshire Wolds

The Yorkshire Wolds have provided the inspiration for this new series of artworks that span 50 years of his fascination with the area. Why not visit the inspiration first hand and discover what makes the Yorkshire Wolds so special, from a fantastic array of accommodation to the picturesque landscapes and mile upon mile of unspoilt countryside, there is something for everyone in the Yorkshire Wolds. 


Location for Hockney’s series of paintings called Three Trees near Thixendale in which he studied the same trees throughout the seasons. Hockney placed his easel at the side of the country road facing the trees and it’s a perfect place to lay down a picnic and refuel before heading off to find a modern earthwork sculpture carved into the chalk landscape which forms part of the Yorkshire Wolds way, Time and Flow.

Discover the Arts of Yorkshire 

Yorkshire art comprises a confident and creative spirit that can be witnessed across the diverse range of art galleries, craft centres, theatres and museums. From the mighty sculptures set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, to quaint independent art galleries in our market towns and cool exhibition spaces in the urban centres. There’s a visual feast just waiting to be discovered. 

With regional theatres, arts organisations, ballet, opera, contemporary dance acts and award-winning productions, make your choice, sit back and enjoy one of Yorkshire’s legendary shows.

Yorkshire has a vibrant network of galleries with many free exciting programmes of contemporary art exhibitions, talks, film screenings and other events. Some of the venues are large and easy to find, others a bit off the beaten track.

Enjoy exploring the Arts of Yorkshire and get ready to admire art, craft, film, sculptures and other art forms in fantastic locations.

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