THE brother of Bradford artist David Hockney has visited the district ahead of the release of his new book, all about the family’s life growing up in Bradford.

John Hockney, who now lives in the Blue Mountains in Australia, has written the book ‘The Hockneys: Never Worry What the Neighbours Think’.

It tells the story of his and his family’s lives growing up in Bradford, with many previously unheard stories about their childhood, providing a unique insight into the family and the backstory of one of Britain’s greatest living artists.

Mr Hockney was back in Bradford ahead of the book’s release in October, visiting Salts Mill which is currently exhibiting David Hockney’s The Arrival of Spring.

He said: “I first thought about writing the book in the mid-1980s, when I first started interviewing my mother.

“I got a lot of information from those interviews, and realised I had to do a book.

“Nothing happened then until 2005 when I was here in Salts Mill when I said, ‘This is it. I have to start’.

“Some members of the family didn’t want the book, so I had to look at what I was putting in, and is written from my perspective of how we lived.

“It starts with my grandparents, then how my parents met at Eastbrook Methodist Mission in Leeds Road, and then wrote chapters on Paul, who became Lord Mayor, on Philip who is a very successful businessman in Australia, Margaret, and of course David, who without him people probably wouldn’t be interested.

“I paint a different perspective of David nobody has really said before. I talk about our early life growing up as kids, and then how we have grown up and where we are now.

“The book is called Never Worry What the Neighbours Think, because that’s what our father kept telling us as we grew up. Just get on and live your life.

“I think there’s a lot that will surprise people. There’s some things people will have never heard before.

“Naturally David dominates in a sense but even there a lot of things come out about the ordinariness of him, if you can call it that.

“All David said to me was, ‘It’s your book John’. He has supported it that way.

“We all still get on now, but we have never lived in each other’s pockets. We have always respected each other’s privacy.

“I would say the last time we were all together was when David’s Arrival of Spring opened at the Royal Academy in 2012. That was a really special time, just the family together.

“I also wrote one chapter at the end to thank Bradford City Council of the day, because without their thought of education and their grants and help which helped the whole family live and do things.”

Despite living 10,500 miles away, Mr Hockney said he still loves being back in Bradford.

“I love it. It has changed a lot.

“I went for lunch today at the Eccleshill Mechanics Institute and it cost £4 for the two of us, and opposite is where the fish shop used to be where David did the drawing of the boy waiting to get fish and chips.

“It always brings back good memories. It was a marvellous place to grow up in the 50s and 60s, everything you wanted was here.

“It’s great to see David’s work is still so celebrated and he is held in such high regard in Bradford.”