Large scale photo collage project, produced with older people in Bradford for Hockney’s 80th birthday celebrations.
To mark Bradford born artist David Hockney’s 80th birthday and the opening of a new dedicated gallery of his work at Cartwright Hall in Bradford, I was commissioned to work with a group of older people to make a large-scale digital image inspired by Hockney’s photographic collages.
Along with fellow artist Chemaine Cooke, I ran a series of reminiscence workshops with residents of an independent living space on the outskirts of Bradford. We used Hockney’s work plus archive images of Bradford to prompt discussion. Participants told us what life was like growing up in Bradford, where they worked, where they danced; we listened to their favourite pieces of music, sang songs and ate cake. I created photographic portraits of each participant and took pictures of the various locations they had mentioned, including local parks, mills and dance halls where they had met their friends and husbands.
The final 4.5m wide photo-montage was produced by collaging together the images I had taken. Photos of Bradford provided the backdrop of this fragmented ‘memory landscape’ that was inhabited by portraits of the participants. The work, designed to celebrate the lives of this group who were Hockney’s contemporaries, was prominently installed in the grounds of Cartwright Hall.
Additionally, a series of 3 A5 risograph prints featured an image on each with some of the phrases and memories the women had mentioned during the workshop sessions. The limited edition set was given out to visitors, allowing a deeper understanding of what inspired the artwork.
Commissioned by The Brick Box and Cartwright Hall
Funded by Arts Council England and Bradford Metropolitan District Council