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Artists helping to transform fields into living canvas ahead of Tour de France

Artist Simon Manfield's 'One Man and his Dog' Fields of Vision land art installation near Haworth.

Artist Simon Manfield's 'One Man and his Dog' Fields of Vision land art installation near Haworth.

  • by Jonathan Brown
 

Sections of the stunning natural backdrop to the Yorkshire Tour de France routes are being given an artistic makeover.

A series of 12 expansive land art installations are being created across a 65mile stretch of the South Pennines in a bid to highlight the beautiful landscape that makes Yorkshire so unique.

Spearheaded by Worth Valley Young Farmers and rural regeneration company Pennine Prospects, the Fields of Vision project is a collaborative effort created for the Yorkshire Festival 2014 that aims to celebrate the Tour’s summer visit to the region.

Leeds Metropolitan University landscape architecture lecturer Trudi Entwistle is among the artists commissioned to transform a section of land into a piece of living art.

Her depiction of ‘Ripples’ has already been marked out and will see a geometric pattern etched into the banking through fertiliser that will dye strips of Lower Laithe reservoir, in Stanbury, near Haworth, into differing shades.

The Hebden Bridge-based artist said: “These land art pieces join up and it makes you walk from one to another – it can be seen from so many viewpoints, it’s almost like a treasure hunt.

“I hope our work raises the profile of the Yorkshire landscape as well as this huge cycling event that’s going to be rolling by.”

The lecturer said that her land artwork focuses on the “ripples on or over the land and the relationship with the strong geometry of this man-made site with its linear walls and field boundaries”.

‘Ripples’ is situated just a stone’s throw from fellow artist Simon Manfield’s completed ‘One Man and his Dog’ work, which gives a Yorkshire flavour to the series which is hoped to feature heavily in filming of the Tour’s visit to the second Yorkshire stage on Sunday July 6. The Grand Depart will see riders race 190km from Leeds to Harrogate on July 5, before going 200km from York to Sheffield the next.

Next on the agenda is the Oxenhope artwork by Louise Lockhart, in the form of a dancing lady representing the emancipation of women by the bike in the Victorian Era.

Artists Imran Qureshi, Catherine Bertola, Jo Gorner, Steve Messam, Robert Montgomery, Jane Revitt and Raz Ul Haq are transforming the rest of the sites at places including Elland, Hebden Bridge, Oxenhope and Holmfield.

Fields of Vision curator, Geoff Wood, said: “We have shamelessly used the topography as a means of giving artists both a canvass and a gallery from which to view. Each artist has found a different way of reacting to the properties of the land, its population and the characteristics that brought Le Tour here.”

Among the designs are a specially-commissioned poem by Scottish artist Robert Montgomery, which will be reproduced at landscape scale, and a design submitted by a member of the public.

Once complete, from June 5 each piece of land art will be best viewed from set vantage points, while the works will also be visible to local communities, those exploring the Tour de France route and viewers of the race on television. Visit www.fieldsofvision.org.uk or festival.yorkshire.com for information.

 

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