“Making a very small subject big”.
The resumption of a relationship with a landscape – uncovering it – a stare at a single landscape maintained – the seasonal rotation but the accent on SPRING, and on summer.
Spring: – The urgency of capturing the white hawthorn in (transient) flower – “as if thick white cream had been poured over everything” – the graft and the planning – “you have to plan to be spontaneous” – ‘Action Week’ to catch the hawthorn, rising at dawn to make use of the seaside light around Bridlington.
The application of technology – new technology – the resumption of water colours because it is quick to apply and to dry – easy to use outside – the careful setting of easels and cameras, the return to the same spot. Hockney references ‘we’ – it is a team effort – the master and his apprentices – the unseen manpower, the fag breaks and the flasks of coffee, the waiting around and the jokes. The drive from and back to the large studio in Bridlington. The same roads, the same country, different seasons. The idea of a manufacturer throwing off product. Cars an essential tool. Part of the relationship with the landscape; how we use it.
The themes of road, tunnels (a field track between trees), woodland, the wolds, a vale between hills – soft, recurring landscape. The road running through landscape, the way through the woods, the turn and tip down a hill, the gloom like a hole, the moment of incandescent sunlight. Woldgate wood.
The cycle of wood – the chopped down stump (‘totem’) – the dead wood amongst the living wood – is the dead wood really dead?
The ipad images: there are elements of fantastic colour in all landscapes that abstracted can be allowed to dominate without (quite) losing the viewer’s sense of recognition
‘The landscape can’t be tired, it’s just how we look at it that needs to change’.
3 thoughts on “Notes on ‘A Bigger Picture’ by David Hockney (Royal Academy)”
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