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Bradford celebrates 1st anniversary of the opening of its Hockney Gallery

Bradford will be celebrating the 1st anniversary of the opening of a permanent gallery dedicated to the world famous Bradford-born artist David Hockney, with a series of events this weekend.

The Hockney Gallery at Bradford Council’s Cartwright Hall which opened on 7 July 2017, just two days before David’s 80th birthday, will host the events on the weekend of 7 and 8 July.

To coincide with the celebration a painting by the artist, which was voted the nation’s favourite painting in 2014, is going on display at the gallery.

Hockney’s My Parents (1977), which has recently returned to the UK from being exhibited in New York, is making a special trip to the Bradford gallery where it will provide the unique opportunity to view it alongside photos of Hockney’s parents from his own personal albums.

The painting showing his mother and father, Laura and Kenneth, was voted as the nation’s favourite in an online poll of artwork on display in public galleries in 2014.

In the painting both parents are seated, his father is engrossed in a book while his mother looks out of the painting at the artist.

The painting which belongs to the Tate Britain was most recently part of an exhibition at The Met in New York, prior to that was on display at The Pompidu in Paris and will be on show in Bradford from 3 July to 16 December.

Family Portrait workshops are being run by Bradford based artist Lou Sumray on 7 and 8 July, encouraging people to celebrate David Hockney’s birthday and his painting ‘My Parents’ by creating a mass participation family portrait. People can come and add their own family to the picture. Saturday’s workshop will see pieces created in black and white include drawing and printmaking, while the Sunday workshop will add colour.

As part of the Bradford Literature Festival, Sunday will also see an event celebrating the poetry that inspired Hockney. The artist channelled his love of writers like Wallace Stevens, Walt Whitman and CP Cavafy into his art and this unique event will highlight the poetic inspiration behind his work with captivating renditions of poems, performed by the National Youth Theatre.

From 3 July 2018 to 7 July 2019 people will also be able to see the 2017 photo of the artist by acclaimed Los Angeles photographer Catherine Opie entitled simply David. Opie is considered one of the leading photographers of her generation and one of the foremost documentarians of American life. The photograph is reminiscent of the portraits by Hockney in his body of work ‘82 Portraits and 1 Still-life’ which is currently being exhibited in Los Angeles.

Since its opening the Hockney Gallery seen a huge increase in visitor numbers to Cartwright Hall, with just under 61,000 visitors received from July 2017 to the end of May 2018. The new gallery has been a particular inspiration to local school children with over 1,500 attending Hello Hockney and Hockney Techniques workshops.

It received Highly Commended for Best Permanent Display at the Museum & Heritage Awards 2018.

Cartwright Hall has also gained its highest score ever from Visit England’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme: “The excellent and insightful Hockney exhibition was a highlight. This new Gallery presented a thoroughly absorbing insight into the artist’s life, works, techniques and close association with the city. An hour in this Gallery simply flew.” (VAQAS report October 2017).

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “The year since the Hockney Gallery opened has flown by and we have had so many fantastic events and workshops bringing the work of David Hockney to life for our visitors. These events to celebrate the gallery’s first anniversary continue that work.

“I am delighted, that through the hard work of our staff, we are able to exhibit Hockney’s fabulous ‘My Parents’ painting at our gallery, especially since it has been shown at such prestigious galleries around the world.”

In order to continue being able to bring important paintings like My Parents to Bradford the gallery has produced mini-souvenir guides about David Hockney – one for adults (£3) and one for children (£2) with the profits all going towards the continued upkeep of the gallery.

For more information about the gallery and events to celebrate its 1st anniversary visit or follow @BradfordMuseums on Facebook and Twitter.

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