The queue snakes around and around and around. I get in line.
No doubt about it there is a certain cachet in saying, "Yes, went to the David Hockney exhibition the other day, really quite something. Have you been?"
The crowd that mills around the entry to the Academy, is a London which you no longer witness on the Clapham omnibus, where to hear an English accent is something of a surprise. Some arty types here, but in the main well-scrubbed, middle-aged couple and very few young people. Well hardly one.
This queue is moving slow. So you watch the people exiting the exhibition clutching their David Hockney trays, and their David Hockney this and that and one is reminded of the recent London riots, and images of the young exiting from ransacked shops carrying their booty of televisions and trainers.
You look along this Royal Academy queue, there are no young people in this queue.
You enter the exhibition and the colours are quite astonishing, nature hails itself from each canvas with
a sea of verdant greens and purples and...wow, this is quite something. It really is the wonderland of nature on canvas.. Then you can't help think of something you have read.
"When it comes to things like the threat of development to our landscapes, we should speak out a bit more, stand up more." Hockney is quoted as saying in an interview. ‘We’re a bit too polite at times. We should shout: “Hold it!” It’s a lovely country, ours."
One could not agree more. However, but then who do you think is sponsoring Hockney’s exhibition at the Royal Academy? None other than Paribas, a French bank and an investor in projects that are, in the opinion of many green activists, destroying landscapes, in the name of ‘development’.
And as you leave the exhibition the scrum round the Royal Academy shop is a conceptual art exhibition
in itself for look at the things you can buy, of course, you have to have the money. Perhaps that is why there were so few young people at the Exhibition.