Filmed over three years, this documentary is an unprecedented record of a major artist at work. It captures David Hockney's return from California to his native Yorskhire, outside, through the seasons and in all weathers.
The Great Depression and the Second World War changed what was expected of the arts; Alan Yentob asks if this recession could see the next transformation. Artist Chuck Close talks about the New Deal in America in the 30s, when the government paid artists to work, while actor Simon Callow tells how thrilled actors were to feel their work mattered. And dealer Kenny Schachter explains how, in a perverse way, he feels this recession is the best thing that has happened to the art world in ten years.
In times like these, what is art worth? And what is art for? The big moment for publicly funded art in Britain was the Second World War. "Something absolutely remarkable happened during the war", says actor Simon Callow. "The theatre suddenly was right at the heart of society". After the war, the idea of "art for all" led to the founding of the Arts Council - "very much a response to the distress, the fear, the uncertainty of war." Alan Yentob asks if culture can play that role again today.