Hockney & Heaney Autumn

'Autumn Trees near Thixendale' by David Hockney 2008. 

The two pictures shown here were part of a series of images which Hockney produced in 2008 using his Mac computer and an injet printer. When I came across them they conjured up the smell of earthy leaf mulch and reminded me of the poem, 'Digging' by Seamus Heaney, which I thought I'd share with you today...

'Autumn Leaves' 2008

'Digging' by Seamus Heaney

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging.  I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper.  He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf.  Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.


I've never seen Hockney's later works, as I'm more familiar with his 1970s work, especialy the pencil studies of his friends, but I love the autumn trees picture. Lovely poem too, reminds me of studying for 'A' level Eng Lit!!
Murgatroyd said…
Hi VK, Hockney has done a variety of wierd & wonderful things using technology such as inkjet printers and in the 80's with fax machines which began a debate about whether they were 'worthy' as pieces of art or not. I have no answer to that only to say, I like what I see! Glad you enjoyed them too...
elegancemaison said…
Hockney and Heaney - two of my favourites. We once owned some Hockney prints - sadly sold long ago to pay school fees etc. But my best memory is of seeing him ahead of us in the queue (!) at the National Film Theatre (BFI) in the 1970s. Love how he continues to experiment with techniques as well as his book " Secret Knowledge" revealing how earlier famous painters used lenses when creating their masterpieces.
Murgatroyd said…
How wonderful to have had those in your posession Ms Elegancemaison! I love Hockney's continued sense of exploration too. :)