I draw, I do

Jill, our Fine Arts curator has written the latest blog post for us.  The subject this time is David Hockney.  She writes:

When you read this I will be in Belfast installing David Hockney: I draw, I do. It is an exhibition I have curated with the really great arts venue MAC Belfast.

It will run from 18 August to 16 October and is based on Bradford’s collection of works by Hockney which will be shown alongside pieces from private collections.

Poster advertising the exhibition at the MAC
Poster advertising the exhibition at the MAC

In anticipationof Hockney’s 80th birthday next year we have been looking back to where it all began – to his training at Bradford School of Art where he learnt to draw and paint, rare works that Bradford now has in its collection, and we have looked at important themes in his work such as portraits and landscapes.

We will show works side-by-side that have never been seen in context together before. We have even made a rare exception at Cartwright Hall and lent our large paper-pulp swimming pool as we are currently refurbishing one of our galleries to open a brand-new permanent Hockney Gallery to tell the story of his life and work. It is a special project for us as Hockney used to come to Cartwright Hall as a child and later as a student practising drawing. The gallery will open on 9 July 2017 (they’ll be more updates along soon).

Back in Belfast – it is the first major show of Hockney’s work in Northern Ireland and I can’t wait for people to be able to see it.

The title was chosen from an interview Hockney did with the designer Paul Smith, he asked him if he drew as much as he used too in art school and he replied ‘I draw, I do …’ and he goes on to explain how important learning to look and drawing repeatedly is for becoming a skilful artist.

Do students get taught to draw at art school these days? It is a contentious subject.Hockney thinks they should.

If you are heading to Northern Ireland be sure to call in to MAC and let us know what you think. I will let you know how the journey and installation in Belfast has gone in my next blog!

Also, Hockney fans don’t forget 82 portraits and 1 still life is on at the Royal Academy until October.

David Hockney at an exhibition launch
David Hockney at the launch of an exhibition of his work at the Royal Academy.

Friends and stars alike gathered for the opening.

After speeches from the President and the sponsor of the exhibition, Hockney gave the shortest speech I’ve ever heard ‘I’d just like to thank all the sitters’ he said and walked away. Everyone laughed and applauded.

3 thoughts on “I draw, I do”

  1. Great blog Heather! I saw 82 Portraits and 1 Still Life at the RA. Fresh and exciting work…is there no limit to Hockney’s talent?… and the work beautifully curated by Edith Devaney. Can’t wait to discover what you’re doing at Cartwright Hall and perhaps get involved?! Meanwhile I feel a trip to Belfast and a visit to MAC coming on! Hope the install there goes smoothly.

      1. Was about to reply that I couldn’t take credit for writing – that goes to my colleague Jill, but you have beaten me to it. Glad you enjoyed the blog post. We try to post on a range of subjects here to ensure there’s something to interest everyone. (I’m lucky enough to see all the posts in advance as I put them online).

        I will pass on your lovely comments to Jill.


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