David Hockney: Biggest ever picture capturing a year in his garden in Normandy goes on show in Saltaire
It is “genuinely uplifting and staggeringly beautiful” said Zoe Silver, one of the directors of Salts Mill, which has been showing works by Yorkshire’s most famous artistic son for 35 years.
A Year In Normandie, which uses some of the 220 iPad works Hockney made in 2020, has been pinned to a specially-built wall in Salts Mill’s timber-beamed attic space.
Inviting the viewer to take a close look at the artist’s favourite new corner of planet earth, it starts with the trees stark and bare, before Spring’s explosion of blossom and verdant hues, and ends in the snow of winter.
There are many signs of human activity: a chair here, a car there, the 17th century house - but no human figures.
Ms Silver said: “It is like taking a walk through the artist’s sketchbooks; it is like he is taking you by the hand and taking you through the year. The year unfurls as you walk around.
“At the end of the first section of wall there’s a curve, and suddenly when you are around the curve you are in summer, and summer is taking off.”
The artist traces its genesis back to when he first laid eyes upon a 30 metre long Chinese scroll painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 1983, which he recalls as “one of the most exciting days” of his life.
Normandy is home to the even longer, at 70 metres (230ft), 11th century Bayeux tapestry, which depicts the Norman conquest of England.
Hockney said: “The viewer...will walk past it like the Bayeux tapestry, and I hope they will experience in one picture the year in Normandy.”
Open Weds-Sun, 11am – 4pm, until September 18 . Admission free. See saltsmill.org.uk for details.