Four stunning pieces of art have been unveiled by Yorkshire artist Mackenzie Thorpe to celebrate the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire.
Mackenzie 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 May 2 and 5 – was announced.
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 now been exclusively revealed.
Mackenzie, of Middlesbrough, 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.”
Speaking of the Yorkshire Coast art, he added: “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.”
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “This new and stunning collection will promote the beauty of Yorkshire and the spirt of the Tour de Yorkshire to a massive audience.”
Collectors of Mackenzie’s work include the Queen and JK Rowling.