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Hockney watercolours displayed on London’s outdoor art benches

From June 17 to the end of August, 36 watercolours from David Hockney's 2004 "Midsummer: East Yorkshire" collection are reproduced on 1.4m wide panels, at King's Cross, as the David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) show returns to Lightroom

A new and free art exhibition featuring the work of the iconic British artist, David Hockney will appear on the outdoor art benches across King’s Cross from 17 June until the end of August. Midsummer: East Yorkshire was originally presented by Hockney as a series of 36 watercolours in the summer of 2004 near his home in Bridlington. In this rare opportunity to see the complete series again, the paintings have been reproduced at larger-than-life scale on 1.4m wide display panels.

This 40-part exhibition will form part of the Outside Art Project, meandering from King’s Cross & St Pancras Station north via King’s Boulevard into Granary Square, bringing Hockney joie de vivre and a breath of Yorkshire fresh air to the heart of King’s Cross.

David Hockney, at the Lightroom

The free outdoor show runs in parallel with the installation David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away), which returns to Lightroom, a new venue for artist-led installations, which is a short walk from King’s Cross station.

In the Lightroom installation, the works of Hockney are beautifully reproduced thanks to 14x Panasonic PT-RQ22K 20,000 lumens, 4k resolution, 3-Chip DLP projectors across the walls of the space, with 14x Panasonic PT-RZ12K 12,000 lumens, HD resolution, 3-Chip DLP projectors handling the floor – with immersive storytelling by disguise.

In the free Midsummer: East Yorkshire outdoor exhibition, each painting celebrates the natural beauty of the everyday vistas of Yorkshire. Alongside the 36 paintings there will be four additional panels carrying original quotes and behind-the-scenes photographs.

David Hockney said: The area around Bridlington is one of the few areas in England where you regularly experience the sorts of wide vistas you get all the time in the American west. During my travels in the American West I was always painting views, I was sight-seeing. Whereas there, around Bridlington, I was painting the land, land that I myself had worked. I had dwelt in those fields, so that out there, seeing, for me, necessarily came steeped in memory. Enjoy the pictures and LOVE LIFE DH.”

At Lightroom, a two-minute walk from Granary Square, Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) allows Hockney to use the innovative four-storey-high venue to take audiences on a personal journey through 60 years of his art. The artist’s process is revealed in a cycle of six themed chapters, featuring his most iconic images alongside lesser-seen pieces and newly created work. A running commentary by the artist is paired with an original score by Nico Muhly and the show is directed by Mark Grimmer of 59 Productions.

The show will run in repertory alongside The Moonwalkers: A Journey with Tom Hankswhich takes audiences on a very different journey as the Hollywood star tells the story of humankind’s enduring enchantment with the Moon. Lightroom’s space is used to convey the gripping spectacle of the first Moon landings in a show directed by 59 Productions’ Lysander Ashton and Nick Corrigan.

From a room almost identical in size to NASA’s Apollo Mission Control, audiences are transported to the lunar surface by spectacular NASA footage and photography remastered by Andy Saunders. The show, co-written by Hanks and double BAFTA-nominated Christopher Riley, features an original score composed by Anne Nikitin, which was recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since Lightroom opened in 2023, over 500,000 visitors have come to see Bigger & Closer and The Moonwalkers. These two shows will alternate over the seven days of the week until mid-October. David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) will play Sunday to Tuesday, 10:00-19:00 (last entry). The Moonwalkers: A Journey with Tom Hanks will play Thursday to Saturday, with shows on the hour between 10:00-20:00 (last entry). On Wednesdays, it will be possible to see both shows – with Bigger & Closer showing from 10:00-12:30 (last entry) and The Moonwalkers showing from 14:00-19:00 (last entry).

A new show is currently in production and will join the Lightroom repertoire this Autumn.

Tickets are from £25 for adults and from £15 for children and students.

 On 9 July David Hockney and Tom Hanks both celebrate their birthdays and to mark the occasion Lightroom is inviting anyone with a birthday that week (8-14 July inclusive) to visit for free.  The offer is valid for in-person booking only and valid ID must be shown at the ticket desk to claim one free ticket to Bigger & Closer or The Moonwalkers. Ticket valid only for named guest on valid ID.

For this repertory booking period, two current offers are available for visitors wishing to see both Lightroom shows. Customers who book tickets for both shows in advance to enjoy on different days can purchase both tickets together and receive a 20% discount. On Wednesdays, customers booking tickets to both Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) and The Moonwalkers: A Journey with Tom Hanks on the same day will pay a combined rate of £35 for both tickets (£15 for children).

Discounted tickets are available for families. Additionally, a £10 schools’ ticket is available and a universal credit recipient offer of £5 per ticket can be booked directly through the ticketing team on [email protected], details of which can also be found on the website.