Bridlington could miss out on Hockney tourism buzz

David Hockney.
David Hockney.

BRIDLINGTON could miss out on a boost to its tourism economy if Hull opens a David Hockney gallery, according to a town councillor.

Town councillor Cyril Marsburg plans to raise the issue at the next full meeting of Bridlington Town Council, amid claims by Hull City Council that they were drawing up “concept proposals” for a gallery showcasing the work of the world famous Bridlington resident in the city.

While mayor of Bridlington, Coun Marsburg led calls in January for Mr Hockney to be made a freeman of the town, following a suggestion from resident Dennis Ashby, and also suggested that East Riding of Yorkshire Council consider changing the name of the gallery at Bridlington Spa to ‘The David Hockney Gallery’.

Coun Marsburg said: “Hull are stealing our thunder. It is alright getting tourism to Hull on the back of a famous East Yorkshire resident, but that is tourism that I would like to see come to Bridlington. We need it.

“The attention his paintings have created have really put Bridlington and the Wolds landscape on the map.

“He lives here and the paintings in his recent exhibition were based on scenes around Bridlington, not Hull.”

Interim chief executive of Hull City Council, Darryl Stephenson, said last week that they were at ‘very early stages’ of approaching Mr Hockney about the gallery, which they believe would provide a major economic boost for the city.

A spokesperson for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said that there had been dialogue with Mr Hockney and that they were proud he resided in the East Riding, but respected his wishes for privacy.

David Hockney’s A Bigger Picture exhibition was held at the Royal Academy of Arts in London earlier this year.

It has been described as a huge success, and saw nearly a million people visiting, making it one of the gallery’s most popular exhibitions to date.

The exhibition featured paintings of the East Yorkshire countryside around Bridlington, while many of the works were painted at his studio in the town.

Visitors from all over the world formed huge queues outside the gallery to see the last day of the exhibition, which later moved on to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

Despite turning down a knighthood in the past, Hockney, 75, was made a member of the Order of Merit by the Queen in May.

The honour is presented to high achievers in the arts, learning, literature, science and other areas.