Art exhibition putting Grand Depart on the map

Champs Elysees by artist Andy Farr
Champs Elysees by artist Andy Farr
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A Tour de France-inspired art exhibition at the Harrison Lord Gallery in Brighouse is putting the Grand Depart on the map.

To celebrate the arrival of the Tour de France, the gallery is holding a new exhibition opening on Saturday with a selection of paintings by artists who have been inspired by the spectacle, colour, speed, movement and excitement of the race.

Artists on show include Michelle Campbell, Roger Simpson, Paul Shipley, Jane O’Neill, Tony Noble, Andy Farr, Martin Cowton, Christine Evans and Alex Tomlinson.

The highlight of the show will be new work by Michelle Campbell who, over the last 12 months, has gained a reputation for artwork inspired by the Tour featuring a series of quirky cyclist characters such as Dynamo Derek in local settings.

For the show she has created two maps depicting the two stages of the Tour in her quirky, humorous style.

Each one not only shows the route in detail and is full of information about many places en route.

Her Tour work was inspired by watching a film called Belleville Rendez-vous, an animated adventure of one woman’s journey to find her grandson kidnapped during the Tour De France.

Michelle said: “I was struck by the fact that the story could easily have been set in Yorkshire so I immediately started creating images inspired by the film.”

The first character of the series to be born was ‘Dynamo Derek’ which was quickly followed by Everyone’s a Winner depicting all 13 nations that have won the Tour and Reliable Robin passing the Robin Hood pub in Cragg Vale on the longest continuous incline in England.

Michelle added: “I’d enjoyed a few drinks there and it’s one of the key climbs on the route”.

Her grand finale, the two maps, will be unveiled at the exhibition and are available as limited edition prints.

Among other artists featured in the show, Jane O’Neill will be showing not only prints but a range of Tour de Yorkshire glass coasters, keyrings and cufflinks.

Roger Simpson’s paintings capture the excitement and movement of the race to the finish, whilst Tony Noble’s beautifully detailed paintings depict bicycles at rest.

Alex Tomlinson has created a commemorative print to celebrate the prowess of the sporting Tyke and Paul Shipley’s work captures the thrill and spectacle of the race.

The Tour De Yorkshire exhibition of prints and original paintings is at the Harrison Lord Gallery from May 24 for six weeks and is free to enter.