I rushed past rooms and rooms of people listening to headphone tours and went straight to his photo collage work. Although Hockney is better known for his paintings and they make up the main body of his work it was his photos that I wanted to see.
Only ten pieces of work, not many, but enough to influence how I viewed the world all those years ago, and now each requiring being viewed up close and from a distance, straight on and from oblique angles. They make you view them how Hockney viewed the world when making them.
All from the mid eighties, Hockney’s photo collages are impossible now. With the digital age, there are a view of the world that is lost forever. We’ll never be able to ‘look’ in the same way ever again. The collages are artifacts, the remaining proof of the loss of a way of looking at the world. And not only that but the world they look has changed and moved on too. These works are an intersection in space, time, human history, and human understanding that can never be again.
The landscapes draw me most. Pearblossom Hwy, Grand Canyon with foot, and my favourite, A Walk in the Zen Garden (made the day before my eighth birthday). I think it’s my favourite because it truly disrupts perspective and so our view of the world we see more than any other piece of work. I wish I could stand where he stood and see what he saw.
Howard Hodgkin, one of my inspirations, has died aged 84. His paintings taught me so much about colour, layers, composition, but mostly about the connection between our mental and emotional worlds and our physical world.