If you’re an art fan, a trip to Yorkshire has to include the vast Salts Mill, a rambling Victorian pile near Bradford, opened on local industrialist Titus Salt’s 50th birthday in 1853. I’ll be looking closer at Titus and his works soon, but right now I’m concentrating on the mill’s 1853 Gallery, where you can see a selection of the celebrated Yorkshire artist David Hockney and his work.

Hockney’s art really developed in the 1960s, and he found early fame, especially with his colourful California swimming pool paintings of that period. He has spent many years since then in the US, but these days spends much of his time back home in the UK, where he has created a series of superb artworks featuring the East Yorkshire landscape. He was also an early adopter of the Apple iPad, and had a groundbreaking Paris show where his drawings were displayed in glowing colour on multiple iPad screens.

So why is Hockney at Salts Mill? It’s really down to the man responsible for the Mill’s new lease of life as an arts and visitor centre, the late Jonathan Silver, who approached David about displaying his work in the Mill. The two men first met in the 1960s, and kept in touch; the result of that association is that Salts Mill has a splendid collection of Hockneys on show. If you’re a fan - and I am - then a visit makes a splendid chance to get up close to works by one of England’s finest modern artists.

The venue is apposite, as David Hockney comes from nearby Bradford, so this is an excellent place to see his works. And it’s not only artists on show at t’Mill - present tenants include environmental and landscape architects, bespoke tailors, a jaw-dropping early music shop, and many others.

Apart from the huge Italianate mill, Sir Titus also built the village of Saltaire for his workers, and the whole area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s convenient for Leeds-Bradford airport and the M606 motorway. If you’re an art lover and in Yorkshire, the place is unmissable.

* TEE note: the possessive apostrophe of ‘Salt’s Mill’ has been lost in the official literature, so I haven’t used it here. More’s the pity, as I am definitely a ‘save the apostrophe’ person!

The splendid Salts Mill (above), with your TEE creator David Jefferis (below) snapping away with iPhone in the excellent bookshop that's inside. Salts Mill is a vast building, confident as only the Victorians knew how, and why not - at the time they ruled nearly one-third of the planet!

Visit Salts Mill online here.


Popular Posts