A team of skilled knitters at a Women’s Institute have recreated David Hockney ’s famous painting of Salts Mill in wool – after getting the world-famous artist’s blessing for the project.
Saltaire WI rose to the challenge set by the organisers of the Saltaire Festival , to create a unique piece of knitting to mark the festival’s tenth anniversary, as part of the Saltaire Big Knit project.
They decided to set themselves the challenge to recreate Mr Hockney’s painting, which hangs in Salts Mill, but first sought permission by e-mailing the Bradford-born artist himself.
Fiz Pimperton, Saltaire Women’s Institute president, said: “We were utterly amazed that David replied himself, and so quickly too.
“It rather put the pressure on us then, and we knew that we had to make this happen.”
The women met on a regular basis for a “knit and natter” and piece-by-piece, the artwork grew.
Mrs Pimperton said: “We were a little to the wire though, we had set ourselves the deadline of our annual meeting last Thursday for our official unveiling, before passing it over to the Saltaire Festival Committee for display on Friday.
“We ended up stitching the very last piece on 15 minutes before the meeting began.”
She added: “We also wanted to use this as an opportunity to teach knitting skills to some of our members who had never picked up a pair of needles in their life. So not only have we created an amazing piece of art, but we have taught the next generation of knitters.”
With the final artwork now on display in Salts Mill, the women felt it was only right to share photographs of the finished article with David Hockney.
Mrs Pimperton said: “We are waiting with bated breath for his response, we do hope that he approves.”
The Saltaire Festival is celebrating Bradford district’s woollen heritage with a series of events during the ten-day festival of art, music and food.
There will be Knit, Spin And Natter sessions at Shipley College’s Salt Building in Victoria Road, on this Saturday and Sunday. Both will be from 10am to 2pm.
Knitters will be creating squares to put on display during the festival, which will be used to make blankets to keep people warm during the winter once the festival comes to a close.
For further information on any Saltaire Festival events, visit saltairefestival.co.uk.