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My Mother, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire, November

My Mother, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire, November
Signed Print

David Hockney

Mixed Media, 1982
Signed Print Edition of 20
H 119cm x W 69cm

Critical Review

A composite image, this signed photographic print by world-famous British artist David Hockney is an example of the artist’s ‘joiner’ artworks, and is characteristic of the photo montage style which featured largely in his Photo Collage works. Standing out from other less intimate works in the series, this piece encapsulates the close relationship David Hockney had with his late mother, Laura. Pictured here just after the death of her husband Kenneth, David’s father, Laura appears vulnerable – slouched, as if to rest, on a gravestone in the grounds of Bolton Abbey in the pair’s native Yorkshire. Hockney’s choice of the gravestone motif is no accident: including his feet in the bottom of the composition, and thus making this piece a double portrait, the gravestone evokes the loss of a family member. Uniting himself and his mother by photographic means, he weaves their togetherness – as well as that of his father, into the fabric of the Abbey’s surroundings: a place Laura and Kenneth would visit often during together when they were young. In contrast to some of Hockney’s other ‘joiner’ pieces, here there is an absence of movement; rather than depicting every gesture of his sitter, Hockney portrays a reflective stillness in the wake of his father’s death. Looking on into the distance and with her hands in her pockets, Laura is still; despite being the focal point of the image, here Hockney ‘sits’ with her.

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