Hockney art trail could be huge tourism draw

Yorkshire artist, David Hockney
Yorkshire artist, David Hockney
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VISITORS to Yorkshire could soon be following in the footsteps of David Hockney under plans to create an art trail across the county.

The Bradford-born artist is working with tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire on the project, which will coincide with the opening of a new exhibition of his work, David Hockney: A Bigger Picture, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in January.

This will feature about 150 mainly landscape works, including some previously unseen pieces, and is expected to generate huge interest in the sites where they were painted, such as the Wolds, Bridlington and Bradford.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It is very early stages but we are very excited to be working with David Hockney on a new trail. We believe there will be massive global interest in Yorkshire following his Royal Academy show so we are working with him to identify sites that will satisfy the public’s curiosity in his work but also not impose on his privacy.

“Locations in the trail so far will include the villages of Warter, Thixendale and Sledmere as well as Salts Mills and Bradford, plus various sites in the Wolds which will be the undoubted star of the show when the exhibition opens in January.”

The Wolds are the inspiration for many of The Bigger Picture paintings with locations such as Garrowby Hill, Kilham, Thixendale and Woldgate Woods on display.

The Yorkshire coast, where he now lives, is the subject matter for a series of films also to be shown in the exhibition for the first time, revealing his relationship with the landscape around his Bridlington home.

Hockney’s Bigger Trees Near Warter, a mammoth painting spread over 50 separate canvasses, smashed visitor records at galleries across the region when it went on show this year.