Few would pick out Bradford for a day out, but they’re trying and Salts Mill makes for a good afternoon. We only became aware of the place after seeing Hockney’s portrait of Jonathan Silver in at the National Portrait Gallery which isn’t right, is it?
Nevertheless, any fan of Hockney should make the trip to Salts Mill at least once during their lifetime. Stars of the show are Hockney’s opera sets which reveal the artist at his most surreal, with the remaining galleries providing a good overview of his work. And somehow well complementing the up-market out-of-town shopping experience that pays for it all.
The experience is contextualised by an okay introduction to Sir Titus Salt, the philanthropic mill owner and founder of the village of Saltaire (it’s by the River Aire, get it?) who nursed Bradford through the pain of industrialisation. Yes, it was grim up north.
All that’s missing is some temporary exhibition space to give us a reason to come back and raise the profile of the place.