Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Hit The North...

I delivered the two paintings that I recently sold to the Open Art Project in West Yorkshire yesterday. Their offices are based near Holmfirth in Kirklees, near Huddersfield. I hired a van for the day and hit the road north. It was great to be back, and I really enjoyed the drive as the horizon line became higher and higher as I headed into the valleys and steep winding hills the region is well known for. I found my CD’s and books flying all over the cabin as I crunched up and down the gears trying to navigate the sharp bends and climbing passes.

I say great to be back, as I used to live in various locations in West Yorkshire on and off for about four years in the 1990’s, and did my teaching training at Huddersfield University, and had various exhibitions there too. Places like Dewsbury, Batley, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Slaithwaite are all places I lived and had studios.

Yesterday I was able to appreciate the staggering beauty of the place once again, as my memory is a bit clouded with some of the difficult times I had there: always skint, trying to get the next bit of work, which was often in community arts. I made plenty of firm friends there though, and I’m still in touch with most of them. My degree work and MA show was a series of paintings inspired by the frequent visits and eccentric characters I often met in the nightclubs and bars of Dewsbury and Batley of all places. The people there always had a real spring in their step and a great attitude and warmth. It was a place of enduring inspiration on many levels.

Above and below are a couple of lovely David Hockney watercolours and his iPad of his native Yorkshire, which reminded me of my journey yesterday.

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