Celia Birtwell in conversation with Marco Livingstone

Coloured pencil drawing of a woman in a floral red and blue outfit sitting on a green chair
Celia, Carennac, August 1971, Coloured pencil on paper, © David Hockney, Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt, Collection The David Hockney Foundation

Past event archive
24 November 2023, 19.00-20.00

The Ondaatje Wing Theatre / Online livestream

Onsite £15 (£12 Members / concessions)
Online £8 (£6 Members / concessions)

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Ticket sales for the livestream close 2.5 hours before the event start time.

At this event to celebrate the opening of David Hockney: Drawing from Life, textile designer and the artist’s muse, Celia Birtwell, talks to art historian Marco Livingstone about the experience of being drawn by her friend over five decades.

About this event:
This event will take place at the National Portrait Gallery and will also be livestreamed to watch online. Select 'Book now' to buy tickets either to attend in person or to watch the livestream online.

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Photo of a smiling woman from the shoulders up
Celia Birtwell, Photograph by Andrew Lamb

Celia Birtwell is a British textile designer and fashion designer, known for her distinctive bold, romantic and feminine designs. She was originally known as the textile designer for fashion designer Ossie Clark’s iconic clothing, which epitomised the 1960s and 1970s. After a period away from the limelight, she returned to fashion in the early 21st century, producing collections for Topshop, Uniqlo and Valentino amongst others. She also had a home textile business for over 25 years, which was run from her shop in west London. She has known David Hockney since the late sixties, and the two of them have been firm friends and confidants ever since. She is the subject of very many of Hockney’s portraits, including Mr & Mrs Clark and Percy, which is one of the Tate Gallery’s most viewed paintings.

Photo of an man from the shoulders up
© Marco Livingstone

Marco Livingstone is an art historian, writer and independent curator who has published widely on art since the 1960s, particularly on Pop Art and on figurative painters of the postwar period. Among his numerous publications are monographs on Adrian Berg, Peter Blake, Patrick Caulfield, Jim Dine, Allen Jones, R. B. Kitaj, Paula Rego, Caroline Walker and most recently on Joe Tilson and on Jonathan Wateridge. His book on David Hockney in Thames & Hudson’s World of Art series was the first full-length critical study on the artist’s work; it has been updated several times since, most recently in 2017. He is also the author of numerous other catalogues and essays on Hockney’s work, including Hockney’s Portraits and People, and has curated two Hockney retrospectives in Japan, an exhibition of Hockney’s Egyptian drawings in Cairo and the spectacular exhibition David Hockney: A Bigger Picture, which attracted 650,000 visitors at the Royal Academy in 2012.