Four stunning pieces of art have been unveiled by world-renowned Yorkshire artist Mackenzie Thorpe to celebrate the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire.
Mackenzie, who hails from Middlesbrough, is one of the biggest-selling British artists of the last 30 years. He was confirmed as the official Tour de Yorkshire artist for 2019 when the full route for the fifth edition – which takes place between 2-5 May – was announced in December.
Famed for his atmospheric and poignant creations, Mackenzie’s work is true to his working-class roots and packed with emotional expression which speaks of hope, love, struggle and challenge - values which align perfectly with the spirit of the Tour de Yorkshire.
The four works, entitled Yorkshire Coast, Over Moor and Dale, Riding with Grandad and The Boy Without a Bike, have been exclusively revealed today at Arthaus Gallery in Richmond, North Yorkshire which was established by Mackenzie in 1989.
Speaking at the launch of the artworks, Mackenzie Thorpe said:
“I'm absolutely thrilled and honoured to be the official artist for the Tour de Yorkshire. For me the whole county is a never-ending inspiration; the dramatic skies, the dales and the moors are like nowhere I have ever been.
“When I was thinking about the images, I knew I wanted to create a collection which also reflected the broader impact the race has on people. So, alongside images of peak fitness cyclists speeding through our glorious hills, dales and coast, there is (for instance) 'Riding with Grandad' which shows a child in a Yorkshire town, learning to ride a bicycle, aided by their grandfather. Or ‘The Boy Without a Bike’; a lone child standing watching the racers speed past and dreaming of the day that he too might ride like the wind on a bicycle all of his own. This is what the race is all about for me, who couldn't fail to be moved by the sheer spectacle and impact the race has on anyone who comes into contact with it.”
Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said:
“Mackenzie has a global following. As well as the UK, his work adorns galleries throughout America, Japan and Australia, and celebrity collectors include HM Queen Elizabeth II, JK Rowling, and Tom Hardy. This new and stunning collection will promote the beauty of Yorkshire and the spirt of the Tour de Yorkshire to a massive audience.”
Yorkshire has been a major inspiration for Mackenzie’s art over the last 30 years and he has described his inspiration behind each of the Tour de Yorkshire official pieces. With a short poem also accompanying each artwork.
“The sheer beauty of our Yorkshire coastline takes my breath away and the light is like nowhere else I have ever been. Whenever I put down on paper that mix of cliff, sea and sky, a wash of pride and nostalgia sweeps over me; I just had to include a piece which captured some of this splendour as a backdrop to the race.”
Hotter than the sun in summer
along the coast
sky and sea merge
The race is on!
Over Moor and Dale
“I really do think of the moors and dales as God’s Own Country, such is the beauty of its dramatic landscape. How lucky we are to have this on our doorstep; the vast lushness of the rolling green hills of the dales, and then to the east the gorgeous lilac heather of the moors, so amazing the colour can be seen from the moon (apparently!).”
They ride against the sky
down into the vale
through a land of so much beauty
and like a steam train
they pass us by.
Riding with Grandad
“Families, friends and whole communities come together to watch and enjoy the Tour de Yorkshire, and inspired by the excitement and spectacle, somewhere a child will be learning to ride, guided by a parent or grandparent. Wherever you are it’s the same, there is that point where the supporting hand has to let go and the child is off on their own.”
With his hand on my shoulder
and a word in my ear
I felt no fear
as his hand slipped away.
The Boy Without a Bike
“We want all our children to have their dreams realised. Somewhere there is this child
and I love the fact that through the race, his dreams may just come true.”
In my dreams
Faster than light
Quicker than the wind
Over hill and dale.
Mackenzie Thorpe’s official website can be found at www.mackenziethorpe.com
Visit the Arthaus gallery www.mackenziethorpe.net
To purchase art work, visit www.whitewallgalleries.com