David Hockney

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.

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.

David Hockney interview from Royal Academy of Arts on Vimeo.

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.