The Duchess of Cornwall has described David Hockney’s vibrant new exhibition as “glorious and uplifting – just what we need” as she toured the Royal Academy of Arts.
Camilla visited the London gallery to celebrate its reopening following the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions.
She was shown around Hockney’s 116 creations, which were digitally painted on an iPad and then printed onto paper, and which depict the arrival of spring in Normandy.
The artist worked on the collection during lockdown last year – producing a new piece every day during the spring months.
Camilla, who is patron of Royal Academy Friends, was wearing an appropriately arty face-mask sent to her by a member of the public.
As the duchess arrived, she said she “couldn’t wait to see” the Hockney exhibition and talked at length with her hosts about the Bradford-born artist’s design process, including his inspiration from Van Gogh and Monet.
She remarked “Oh it’s lovely” as she took in the scene in the Main Galleries space.
Camilla was particularly taken with one picture of cherry blossom, entitled Cheerry Blossom with the second ‘e’ struck out with a cross.
“We need some cheery blossom, don’t we?’ the duchess said. “I feel very lucky to have seen these wonderful pictures.”
Camilla described the exhibition as “glorious and very uplifting – just what we need”.
She stopped to speak to two ladies enjoying a coffee outside the building in London’s Piccadilly as she departed.
When one of the women remarked that one of the pictures depicted rain, Camilla joked: “Well yes, we’ve seen quite enough of that.”
The duchess had also viewed Michael Armitage’s powerful Paradise Edict exhibition, which explores East African landscapes, politics and society.
She met members of the ticketing, visitor welcome and security team who have been instrumental in the gallery’s safe reopening post lockdown.
The duchess quipped how she had had enough of video calls.
Told that the Academy, which had moved a lot of its activity onto the web, had seen some online fatigue, Camilla remarked: “We can all think of things we have had to do and don’t want to do again.
“I think we are all craving human contact. I personally never want to do a Zoom call ever again.”