Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A Bigger Picture

'Garroby Hill' Picture taken of a Royal Academy card I purchased at 'David Hockney RA A Bigger Picture' Exhibition 

On Friday I visited the David Hockney Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London with a couple of girlfriends. We had the best day out.

What made it special? Maybe the first class train travel from Leicestershire. We drank tea, nibbled on posh biscuits and chatted incessantly on all manner of subjects.

Or possibly our trip around the Tate Modern earlier in the day. Or maybe the lovely lunch we took here at the Wallace Restaurant. An elegant glazed atrium, with a contemporary feel, hidden inside The Wallace Collection it's definitely one of their best kept secrets. The excellent bottle of wine we drank over a lazy lunchtime certainly helped maintain our happy attitude.

But, I don't think anything prepared me for how awe-struck I felt when I walked into the exhibition. I'd already decided to go with an open mind, having heard lots of hype, and good things in the press, and on TV. I decided to ignore them and make up my own mind.

Fully aware that all the advance tickets had sold out, I was surprised to see long queues outside. I overheard a woman asking if there was any chance she would be able to see the exhibition. The reply was yes, as long as she didn't mind a wait in the queue. They have opened it up to evening visits to deal with the overwhelming numbers wanting to see Hockney's work.

Busy tills stunned me, as did the buying frenzy in the gallery shop, and the crowds of people clutching postcards, prints, books and all manner of other Hockney merchandise. All this was before I entered the galleries.

The pictures are stunning, and all I could think when I walked into the exhibition was wow! Wow indeed! The passion and energy of the man greets you full force. The sheer size of the paintings takes some getting used to, and the numbers are overwhelming.
Hockney has truly challenged himself to see the ever changing seasons and record them for us, he has observed the beauty in the ordinary scenes of countryside around Bridlington in Yorkshire.

The colours are unbelievable, I haven't seen anything done like it before. Pastels and saturated colours streaked across canvas, dabs and splodges making more sense to me as I stood and stared.

The prints of the Ipad sketches are amazing, I'm convinced it will inspire many owners to try this digital way of drawing, and painting. The exhibition really works your eyes, and for some it may be too much, but if you're like me, you'll delight in it.

I too left clutching cards and notebooks, along with happy memories, and I couldn't help but wonder if somewhere amongst the crowds, perhaps a young artist had been inspired today, and possibly in fifty years time their work would be hanging on the walls for all to see.

What made our day special? I know it was a combination of all of the above, as well as the warmth of three special friends spending quality time together.


  1. Lucky you. I enjoy art. There's a traveling exhibition of Impressionist paintings in my town that I will go see.

  2. Richard - I will certainly go and see more! It has inspired me.

  3. Great post Maria, and yes it is truly inspiring to visit Hockney, and you captured your excitement really well.

    It was the same when we were there, the crowds, the number of people clutching paraphernalia from the shop, the queues.

    But the work of Hockney overwhelms you the most - it's definitely worth a visit.

    Thanks Maria, and it sounds like the wine and biscuits helped too!!

  4. Graham - Thank you, I'd actually like to go and walk around the exhibition again. In silence though, and without the crowds. I think that would bring a stillness to the mind.

  5. Thanks Maria, that was a very interesting and enthusing (is that a word?) post. Went to check out the RA site and tehy have a short video on it. Looks great. Only really know his swimming pool stuff so nice to see this side of his work.

    Moody Writing
    The Funnily Enough

  6. Sounds a great day out. Love the use of all the wonderful colours on the landscape picture. Certainly looks an exhibition to inspire writers.


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