Celebrating the Tour de France in Harrogate, artist James Straffon has created a street-art treasure hunt with a new a new twist – he is leaving ten artworks in various locations in Harrogate, one a day, for a member of the public to find and keep. Clues will be provided on facebook and twitter. Each painting will be a unique multi-layered sprayed painting of Harry Binns, an iconic and rebellious Yorkshire cyclist who is seen by many to represent the spirit of the Tour.
Straffon explains: “Seven years ago the UK staged the Grand Depart in my home town of London. At that time I had only just begun my artistic exploration of the Tour de France. With its return, I feel honoured to harness the excitement that the Tour brings, and help create a unique exhibition project for Harrogate – a special gallery show, Legends mural, celebration ale, one-off cycling museum… leaving a treasure trail of ‘on the house’ Tour street artworks is my way of saying ‘Thank you Harrogate’.”
This artistic treasure hunt runs alongside his current exhibition at the RedHouse Originals Gallery “Carbon Sulphur and Paint” displaying 42 artworks in celebration of the Tour de France in a wide variety of media from paintings to collage-shoes such as “Sprinter”, created to commemorate the famous Smithfield Nocturne cycling event. This artwork, a homage to speed and the race’s unique location – London’s Smithfield Meat market, is created using material obtained from the market on a trading day, including produce tickets and a vintage Smithfield postcard and is signed by Sir Paul Smith, Mark Cavendish, Alex Dowsett, Matt Goss and Dean Downing, plus the artist.