Homage to Hockney

The Pop Inn was a novel concept designed for teenagers by John Wright with a coffee bar, drinks dispenser and juke box.  The room had a distinctly ultra modern feel with stand-up tables made from hundreds of strips of coloured perspex with internal fluorescent lighting and animal print fur covered stools and banquettes. 


The walls were decorated by the young David Hockney, then a student at the Royal College of Art.  Hockney used "sgraffiti", burning sketch-like images into the soft pine walls with a hot poker.  The intention was that this would encourage the teenagers to extend the design "in their own style".  Being teenagers that is exactly what they did and within a year the panels had been, “defaced by signatures in pencil, biro, ink, red lead, and paint, and amongst the signatures there was a considerable selection of the most objectionable kind of public lavatory remark”.  


Hockney meanwhile was establishing himself in a series of "Young Contemporaries" exhibitions at the R.B.A., and finding favour and inspiration in New York.  Sir Hugh Casson conscious of Hockney's growing reputation urged Sir Donald Anderson to have the Hockney panels photographed being, he believed, "the largest Hockney known to be in existence”.   For Casson, Hockney and P&O, the request came too late.  With their unsolicited additions the Hockney panels had been "cleaned off" and "covered with hard plastic" in the first refit of 1962.  Sir Donald Anderson lamented to Casson in 1963:


"Hockney’s immortal works have proved to be highly mortal.”  

 Back Next 
Homage to Hockney