A Cheerful Curve – The Road to York through Sledmere by David Hockney

David Hockney - The road to York through Sledmere
David Hockney – The road to York through Sledmere


In-between the red brick houses and the bright green bushes, a line of dots and dashes leads the way. Our eyes condense, in one rectangular frame, the landscape surrounding the undulant road. Our perspective might not be the one of a fine architect, but we wouldn’t leave out these landmarks for anything in the world.

There is the bright red house swathed in foliage in the centre-right. Behind it hides  lilac roofing with residents as secretive as the location of their home, although the passage to their house leads to the powder green dome and is frequently used. It is an unusual location, public, yet anyone who reaches the Greek-like columns of the gazebo secretly wants privacy. It has been a space where solitaries read, lovers kiss, old friends catch-up, and peculiars hide from the heat during unexpected hot summer days. The leafy wall next to it provides the right amount of coolness. I, as well as all the other residents are grateful for the profusion of greenery, which brings a fresh tropical climate and an agreeable spectacle for the avid painters and draughtsmen of the village.

On the other side of the road, amid two violaceous residences, the school stands proudly. Four poles embellish the stern brick walls, adding more severity to the building. The coquettish facades of the surrounding houses and the children playing, giggling and shouting, add a needed cheerful note to the curve. The perfectly tamed bushes don’t mirror the wild leaves from across the street. These two sides of the road are completely different, yet confer harmony to the overall view. When departing from or arriving to the village of Sledmere, all visitors meet the statue, which we cannot really admire from here. It is cropped out by the car’s rear window frame, from which I am describing this sight for you.

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