Why David Hockney’s not mad to have swapped an exclusive LA address for East Yorkshire


By Laura Davis:

ON SUNDAY, I risked the sharp elbows of fellow Aldi shoppers and the scratch-risking circumnavigation of the packed car park in order to buy a kite.

Facilitated by an alert on my Aldi iPhone app (seriously you can’t beat its bargains – look out for today’s knockdown memory foam pillows and cheap as chips passifloras) and a text from my mother (how well she knows me), I was able to get my hands on a stunt kite painted with flames that will clearly spell “danger” to anyone foolish enough approach me while I’m tangling up my strings at Otterspool Prom.

Then, because it is the way of the world, it started bucketing down and my prized purchase was left in the car boot where it is destined to remain on the off-chance that we one day happen to pass by a spot of ideal wind velocity on the way to something completely unrelated.

A kite has been on my shopping list since a I spent a lovely weekend in Bridlington, on the East Yorkshire coast, earlier this year, reunioning with some of my cousins.

We’re never all together except at fun-but-intense whole family single-evening events, where our parents, aunts and uncles are always playing banjos, clog dancing or reminiscing about growing up in Woolton village, and there’s no chance just to sit off and hang out.

Our weekend in Brid (as I’m reliably informed the locals call it), with no parents, gave us the chance to catch up without our conversation being interrupted by someone insisting we join in a square dance.

If the name “Bridlington” is ringing a bell, it’s very likely that’s because David Hockney lives there.

There was a flurry of articles mentioning this fact at the beginning of the year after his 23-year-old assistant, Dominic Elliott, died suddenly at the artist’s home in March.

The post-mortem found no obvious natural cause for his death and the inquest was adjourned until this month.

Hockney, 75, was devastated by the loss of the man his family described as “like a son to him” and at first found himself unable to return to his work.

Alongside the obvious questions about Elliott’s death came one I hadn’t anticipated.

Having lived in one of the most exclusive Los Angeles addresses, why would Hockney move into a red brick former B&B in a faded Northern seaside town?

I can tell the writer of that particular article had never spent a sunny weekend strolling along the front with lovely family members, a bag of fish and chips and a polystyrene cup of a drink vaguely resembling coffee. He mustn’t have laughed at the rude lollipops, run scared from the creepy wax dummies in the Boyes department store’s heritage museum or been chased down the beach by a vicious owl-shaped kite.

Or relaxed into the warm feeling of experiencing the idiosyncratic personality of a town where time moves at the pace of the tides and everybody stops to say hello.

Added to that its proximity to Hockney’s beloved countryside – a favoured subject in his work – and there’s little left to question.

In fact I’m tempted to make the cousins’ Brid weekend an annual occurrence – if only so I can get around to flying my new kite.

Read more: Liverpool Daily Post LAURA DAVIS: Why David Hockney’s not mad to have swapped an exclusive LA address for East Yorkshire – Liverpool Arts – Culture – Liverpool Daily Post http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-culture/liverpool-arts/2013/08/01/laura-davis-why-david-hockney-s-not-mad-to-have-swapped-an-exclusive-la-address-for-east-yorkshire-99623-33672730/#ixzz2bs6ot38l

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