The Yorkshire-born artist, David Hockney is set to unveil a massive 295ft-long artwork in the city of his birth which reflects the changing of the seasons of his garden in France in lockdown. Described as “a vibrant, joyful frieze recording the changing seasons in and around the artist’s French garden”, it is the first time this vast work has been seen in the UK.
The piece ‘A Year in Normandie’ was created by combining some of Hockney’s 220 iPad paintings, printing them onto paper, and displaying them in a continuous length.
It’ll be housed in the UNESCO village of Saltaire in the attic space of Salts Mill in Bradford, where the 84-year-old’s largest work has been fastened to a wall.
This is the first time the art has been shown in the United Kingdom. It had previously been on display at Paris’s Musée de l’Orangerie.
Hockney shared some of his paintings with the BBC in April 2020, not long after the epidemic began, along with his ideas on the value of art in life.
At the time, he said: “I began drawing the winter trees on a new iPad. Then this virus started.
“I went on drawing the winter trees that eventually burst into blossom. This is the stage we are right now.
“Meanwhile, the virus is going mad, and many people said my drawings were a great respite from what was going on.”
The artist, who was born in Bradford, credits his inspiration for ‘A Year in Normandie’ to a Chinese scrollwork he saw at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1983. He also claims that the Bayeux Tapestry, a 230-foot-long needlework depicting the events leading up to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, influenced him.
He said: “The viewer will walk past it like the Bayeux Tapestry, and I hope they will experience in one picture the year in Normandy.”
A Year in Normandie will be open to the public at Salts Mill from today, Wednesday 4th May. Find out more information here.