Hockney has become an icon to the opposition to wind turbines

PUBLISHED: 00:16 31 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:13 20 February 2013

Winter Timber

Winter Timber

The opposition to wind turbines in Yorkshire takes an artistic turn as it continues to gather strength

The timing could not have been better for protesters fighting plans to introduce wind farms in East Yorkshire. A new book of paintings and an exhibition at the Royal Academy celebrating the beauty of the East Yorkshire landscape by David Hockney has become a tremendous boost to their campaign.

And although there are no direct words of support from the internationally acclaimed artist as we go to print, protesters are relying on his work to say it all. We are told that the East Yorkshire landscape in all its seasons has inspired David Hockney for the last seven years, leading to a new major exhibition Yorkshire Landscapes-The Bigger Picture at The Royal Academy of Art in London, said David Hinde, a vocal campaigner against the invasion of giant wind turbines on the Yorkshire Wolds.

His best East Yorkshire Wolds landscape paintings such as Road Across The Wolds and Bigger Trees Near Warter, capture the beauty of the Yorkshire Wolds where he has spent so long creating his masterpieces, painting in the open, rolling landscape that should have long ago been designated an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Hockney has said that the exhibition will reveal his emotional engagement with the Yorkshire Wolds landscape he knew there in his youth and as it is now.

However that is not the bigger picture for this beautiful Yorkshire Wolds landscape faces an urgent and immediate threat from swamping by wind turbines of all sizes; alien structures in this open landscape that will destroy its character and the reasons for tourists to visit this area.

The Yorkshire Wolds and East Yorkshire needed David Hockney to re-state why this area should be preserved for us, future generations and tourists from all around the world. The country needs to wake up to what the bigger picture is. David Hockneys exhibition helps to do this and I hope that David will add the full weight of his support to those who care passionately for this area.

My Yorkshire

Hockneys Yorkshire spans the width of the county. He was born and studied art in Bradford and Salts Mill in Saltaire still has one of the finest collections of his work in the world, one he constantly adds to and updates.

The Yorkshire Wolds are the inspiration for many of his Bigger Picture paintings with locations including Garrowby Hill, Kilham, Thixendale and Woldgate Woods on display. He now lives in Bridlington.

Hockney is only the second Royal Academician to occupy the Main Galleries of the Royal Academy in his lifetime. The exhibition at the Royal Academy runs from January 21st to April 9th 2012.

A new book called My Yorkshire David Hockney Conversations with Marco Livingstone details much of his work in the Wolds. In 2004 that Hockney began a series of dazzling fresh water colours of the rolling landscape known as the Wolds. It was to become one of the most ambitious and extraordinary projects of his career, memorialising this little-known, intimate and gently beautiful part of the world in a series of vibrant oil paintings on an ever-expanding scale. The many paintings he has made in the vicinity of Bridlington since 2005 are among the most captivating and impressive of his long and distinguished career.

My Yorkshire is which includes interviews with Hockney at his home and studio in Bridlington in 2008 and 2010, is published by Enitharmon Editions, London.

Waste of money

I very definitely fall into the ugly monstrosity camp when it comes to wind turbines. The industrialisation of our landscapes by the dash for cash by wind companies and landowners after a quick buck is a heavy price to pay. The real scandal is that it is every customer of energy companies is paying for this folly through hefty levies on our energy bills. It is pushing many into fuel poverty, and putting our industries at a competitive disadvantage with overseas companies not being hamstrung by their own governments in this way, and putting employment at risk.

The worst of it is that not one jot of CO2 is being saved. Wind is unreliable. Electricity cannot be stored. So when the wind doesnt blow - as it didnt through a long period of the coldest weather we have had for decades last winter, there needs to be 100 per cent backup from conventional sources to prevent the lights going out. So far, the Grid has managed to deal with this unpredictability through the contingency it has to rack up generation for peak coverage. That contingency is being used up. As more and more of these unreliable turbines come on stream, more conventional power stations will need to be built to cover for their lack of production (currently wind farms are operating at about 25 per cent of installed capacity).

Having to run these new stations at less than optimum capacity when the wind is blowing is a highly inefficient way of operating and of using resources.

None of us objecting to the desecration of our countryside (we are threatened round here with over 60 of the things within a three mile radius if all declared and rumoured developments come to pass) is against renewable energy. We do, however, object to our money being wasted on something which is not going to solve the problem of diminishing fossil fuel supplies. The latest application is for nine turbines at Thornholme Field on the edge of the Wolds near Bridlington. Details are on the East Riding website. All support in objecting to this nonsense would be gratefully received.

Sue Burt
No to Wolds Wind Farms (Thornholme Field)

Protect the Wolds

Very many applications for wind turbines and wind farms have been received by East Riding of Yorkshire Council. They urgently need to uphold their protection policies for the Wolds and Heritage Coast.
The Landscape Protection Planning Policies of East Riding Council are supposed to protect the Yorkshire Wolds as a High Quality Landscape Area from the detrimental impact of such development proposals.

Yet in the dash for cash farmers and developers are feverishly putting in planning applications for both wind turbines and wind farms surrounding Bridlington and which if allowed will desecrate the Wolds. There are other options for renewables such as ground heat pumps in chalk.

The MP for the area Greg Knight has stated that he is in discussions with the government to stop this happening. Indeed he says to stop the East Riding being desecrated by wind farms. But it is the local planning committees in East Yorkshire which will ultimately decide the fate of this special and beautiful area. I urge all to press for Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) status for the Wolds.

As electricity bills soar because of renewable energy policies and the effect of feedback tariffs on local development policies, greed is taking over from the traditional stewardship of this heritage landscape.

David Hinde
East Yorkshire

Extreme solution

Some may say this is perhaps just a tad extreme but I think whoever has the stupidity and audacity to suggest that wind turbines are anything but destructive to our country landscapes should be dragged out of their homes kicking and screaming, stripped naked and strapped to the arm of one of these monstrosities and left spinning...until he repents!!

Ralph Robinson

Is it a case of needs must? Can we grow to love wind turbines? Whats your opinion? Send your views to feedback@yorkshirelife.co.uk or write to us at Yorkshire Life, PO Box 163, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 9AG.

The print version of this article appeared in the November 2011 issue of Yorkshire Life

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