North Yorkshire painter Alister Colley has been named as the Official Artist of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014.
Colley, who was born in Harrogate and works out of his studio in Pateley Bridge, has commemorated the historic sporting occasion being in his home county with the production of an official painting and 2,014 limited edition prints of his work – to celebrate the year of the event.
The painting which reflects Yorkshire’s rolling landscapes full of cyclists pedalling past a backdrop of some of the county’s key landmarks, is typical of Alister’s style blending acrylic paint with chalk and oil base pastels. 28 pan-Yorkshire locations and landmarks are featured in the imagined landscape including the whale bones at Whitby, Sheffield’s famous Crucible Theatre, the Yorkshire coast, Bronte Parsonage and Ribblehead Viaduct.
Colley, who was recently shortlisted for the fifth consecutive year in the 2014 Fine Art Trade Guild Awards for the UK’s Best-selling published artist, runs his Zeitgeist Fine Arts company from Pateley Bridge with his wife Claire.
Alister Colley, said: My wife and I honeymooned in the south of France in 2007, two weeks before the region was due to host their stage of the Tour de France.
It was crazy you couldn’t cross the road for amateur cyclists arriving well in advance of the Tour. Hotels, restaurants and cafes were packed with tourists and fans arriving early, the enthusiasm was contagious unfortunately we were due to leave and we felt we were about to miss out on an amazing party.
So when we found out that the Grand Départ was to be held in Yorkshire, we were determined; not only that we wouldn’t miss out this time, but that somehow, someway we would love to get involved.
Being privileged enough to have been chosen as the Official Artist of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014 is exciting enough but to be depicting the county I have lived in all my life and with which my work has become synonymous is even more exhilarating and rewarding, I am very proud.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: The quality of Alister’s work speaks for itself, but he won us over with his passion for Yorkshire and his passion for the Le Tour coming to our county.
I am sure his piece will become a collector’s item for cycling fans around the world and possibly even some of the riders who take part.
Colley has always lived in Yorkshire and studied for his BA (Hons) in Art and Design at Leeds Metropolitan University. His recent exhibition, the collection ‘A Yorkshire Mixture’ began touring in December 2013 and is based on lesser known landmarks of Yorkshire, including Bradford City Hall, Harrogate Royal Hall, Saltaire and Knaresborough Christmas Market. Having hosted exhibitions all over the UK including London, Birmingham and Essex Alister looks forward to his forthcoming invitations to exhibit in Australia, Shanghai and America.