David Hockney Inspires Social Isolation Drawing Competition

"Hope in Spring: draw like Hockney" is accepting entries through June 21

Artist David Hockney At A Major Exhibition Of His Work At The Royal Academy
British artist David Hockney poses in front of his painting entitled "The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire 2011 (twenty-eleven)" at the opening of his exhibition David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture in the Royal Academy of Arts on January 16, 2012 in London, England.
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Odds are good that if you’re socially isolating yourself right now, you’ve also embarked on some sort of project. Maybe you’re baking something; maybe you’ve embarked on a new workout routine. Perhaps you’ve decided to get very into board games — or some combination of all of the above.

One man currently engaged in social distancing at his home in Normandy is spending his time drawing images of the nearby landscape on his iPad. The man in question is beloved artist David Hockney — and this particular section of his body of work has sparked something unexpected.

At The Guardian, Kim Willsher reports on how Hockney inspired an artistic competition that itself has the goal of being inspiring. The idea came from Ruth Mackenzie, who is the artistic director of Paris’s Châtelet Theatre. Hockney has been sharing his images of Normandy with friends and colleagues — and speaking about the benefits of using art as a way to focus one’s attention while quarantining.

When Mackenzie received a letter from him, she reached out to him about turning these ideas into a wider project. Or, as she described it to The Guardian, “if he would consider doing something for French people in lockdown needing a touch of solidarity.”

And so, Hope in Spring: draw like Hockney was born — a production of the Châtelet Theatre, France Inter Radio and the Centre Pompidou. The article notes that Hockney sent one of his works to the competition exclusively, and shared another 9. The competition will run through June 21, and 10 winners will be chosen via the trio of organizations presenting it.

Beyond the 10 winners, this project may well prove therapeutic to many of those who take part — giving them a newfound solace in the natural world during a turbulent time.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.