This is one for our Canadian friends…
Luigia Zilli, an Italian artiste with a passion for cycling and currently has an exhibition in Ontario, Canada.
I caught up with Luigi to talk about her art, inspiration and hopes.
CyclingShorts: Tell our readers all about your art and why cycling features so prominently in your work?
Luigia Zilli: I love how my paintings bring out happiness in those who are passionate about cycling. I can see the joy they feel when they see my work. It’s priceless.
Freedom, by Luigia Zilli. Oil on canvas
CS: Why cycling?
Luigia: That is one question I have been asked very often; It may be somewhat unusual in a world where visual artists usually depict landscapes or still-life or the human figure, just to mention few of the more common subject matters. I feel that an artist who is true to them self paints what they feel connected to and passionate about. That is who I am. The passion I feel for the sport of cycling and bicycles in general is rooted in my past.
CS: Tell us about your connection to competitive cycling?
Luigia: I grew up around bicycles and competitive cycling. My father and brother were racing cyclists and introduced me to the world of competitive cycling in my early years in Italy. Between training and racing, watching my younger brother race, working for a TV show about cycling and watching grand tours on TV, cycling encompassed my everyday life. I really missed it when it wasn’t there anymore. That’s when I started to paint it. Although I have an interest in several subject matters, bicycles seem to capture my attention most often. Bicycles and cyclists became a muse and an inspiration for creating something which is embedded deep inside of me. I want to share it with others so that they can feel the passion I have expressed in my artwork. I try to immortalize bicycles in the environment that tells their story the best. With cyclists, my intent is to depict motion and facial expression; speed and movement, strain and pain, fatigue and exhilaration, spinning wheels, winding and weaving during their battle on the saddle. My medium of choice is acrylic paint on textured canvas. I apply texture to canvas creating the look of worn out roughness yet exhibiting an equally deep and rich perspective.
CS: It seems that cycling for you goes a little deeper than simple competition?
Luigia: … to me cycling is comparable to life in general in many cases. Like in life, perseverance will lead us to success, it doesn’t matter if now we can’t do it, if we make a mistake, if it’s too hard. Also hard work: that’s one of my favourite mantras. Hard work will result in success, sooner or later.
CS: That is beautifully put and very true. Do you think your art has inspired people to ride?
Luigia: I’m very positive in encouraging people to ride the bicycle. For some, after they start to do it, it becomes really addictive. I grew up in a small town in Italy where it was the most common utilitarian way to move around for people of any age. I have wonderful childhood memories riding the bicycle with my friends, being able to go everywhere in a short time, it really gives you a great sense of freedom. The bicycle, in my opinion, it’s a simple but very attractive machine, it has its own elegance and dynamism. It’s a great invention and I also consider it a symbol and a precious tool for living our future in a clean environment keeping ourselves healthy and happy.
CS: We see you have linked your exhibition to the Pan American Games?
Luigia: About the Pan Am Games, as soon as I knew they were coming to Toronto and they were building the new Velodrome practically next door where I live, I thought it was a good time for an exhibition to target not only cyclists and enthusiasts locally and from all over Canada, but also coming from the other Countries which are participating. During the Pan Am Games every city that hosts has a lot of events organized in celebration of the games and to entertain the public, either local or visiting. My art exhibition will be one of them and my cyclist friends and family are looking forward to it.
CS: Have you any success closer to home in inspiring people to ride more?
Luigia: I started my partner cycling and now he’s the one buying all the technology and gears for the bike, even more than me!
CS: You may well have opened a Pandora’s Box there Luigia! Good luck with all the bikes, components and gear that will slowly yet surely fill your apartment. Thanks ever so much for taking the time to speak to us during what must be a very busy time for you. Thanks also for the generous offer of a signed print competition – one of our loyal readers will surely be a very happy cyclist.
Luigia: Thank you Nick.
You can view and purchase prints of Luigia’s wonderful art at: http://www.bicycleart.ca/store.html
Enter our new competition…
Win a cycling sunset, enter by clicking here.
Luigia has generously donated a 50 cm x 50 cm signed Ltd. Edition print of ‘Sunset’; one of her most popular paintings.
Where Brass Bands Meet Bicycles:
Call for Cyclists to Be Part of Yorkshire Festival 2014
The first ever arts festival to accompany a Grand Depart of the Tour de France, the Yorkshire Festival 2014 will bring music, dance, theatre, film and art activities to the region and cyclists are being invited to bring their bikes and cycling skills to be part of it.
There are a huge number of events in the Festival (see attached for full details) and organisers are inviting cyclists, whether they are mountain bikers, road racers or those new to cycling, to get involved. Opportunities include:
Ghost Peloton – Phoenix Dance Theatre & NVA in partnership with Sustrans, present a world first: 50 experienced cyclists are needed to don specially designed, programmed light suits for two live performances in Leeds. They will create beautifully choreographed patterns, riding in formation with the prospect of also becoming a longer term ‘team’ after the initial performance
Delivering a yellow conductor’s baton to brass bands who will be waiting for your arrival to start their ‘Tour de Brass’ concert (some locations are more hilly than others!)
Share your experiences of life on two wheels with Bike Story – your tales will form the basis of a new play touring Yorkshire during the Yorkshire Festival 2014
Send your photos, old and new, to be part of a new exhibition, Bicyclism, at Leeds City Museum
Tour de Force Bicycle Orchestra would like donations of old bikes and parts to give them a new lease of life as a frame harp, handlebar trumpet, thumb piano or singing wheel!
Grab a friend and cycle to one of 60 film screenings of cycling and Yorkshire life films, with Tour de Cinema. 11 of these will be massive outdoor screenings in unusual locations – we’d love to see the outdoor cinema sites filled with bikes!
Hop on your bike to courier songs written as part of the Wish You Were Here project to different locations across North Yorkshire
Join a Rollapaluza competition, part of Leeds’ White Cloth Gallery’s range of Rouleur supported exhibitions and events. Jump on a stationary bicycle to compete in short times races, to an extraordinary atmosphere, music and MC.
Henrietta Duckworth, Executive Producer of Yorkshire Festival 2014, said “The Festival is a brilliant celebration of culture and cycling happening indoors and outdoors in all parts of the county. The activities will appeal to riders of all ages and abilities so if you’re already a cyclist, take part and get involved; if you’re inspired by the Grand Départ coming to Yorkshire but don’t already ride, come along to experience everything cycling and the Festival has to offer”.
Download the PDF file detailing Yorkshire Festivals Call to Cyclists by clicking here.
Visit www.yorkshirefestival.co.uk to find out all about Yorkshire Festival 2014.
Intoart Bicycle Tour 2013
Liverpool – Liege – Lille – London
‘L of a bike ride – Solo 1000 mile charity cycle ride across Europe
Ian Ritchie will be cycling 1000 miles solo, across Europe in June – July 2013 to raise money for Intoart artists to travel and research in Europe. Intoart is a small artist-led visual arts organisation working with adults and young people with learning disabilities.
Enthused by the cycling boom that has swept the UK in recent years, Ian will be pedaling a 1000-mile route inspired by cycling prowess and artistic achievement.
‘Intoart is such a fantastic charity, I am always struck by the quality of the artwork made in the Intoart studio and how hard the artists work; these are tough times for small charities so I wanted to show my support by doing something which reflects the endeavor and drive of the artists.
Cycling across Europe will enable me to do this as well as fulfilling some boyhood ambitions.’ Ian Ritchie
Beginning on the same day as the Tour de France, Saturday 29 June 2013, at the iconic Tate Liverpool on the banks of the Mersey, Ian will take in the Marc Chagall exhibition before making his way through Eccleston, the home of Sir Bradley Wiggins – Tour de France and Olympic Gold medal winner 2012. He will then continue on to pick up the Way of the Roses route to York before travelling by ferry from Hull to Belgium and follow the Flanders Cycle Route heading for Ghent, the cycling capital of Europe.
Whilst in Belgium, Ian will visit MADmusée in Liege, a gallery Intoart has a strong relationship with. It was here in 2011 that Intoart artists exhibited internationally as a group for the first time.
In 2012, MADmusée commissioned Intoart artist, Doreen McPherson, to create a portrait of British cycling star, Mark Cavendish for an exhibition that ran alongside the Tour de France.
Other highlights of the trip include: a visit to the LaM Museum in Lille to see Madge Gill works from the L’Aracine collection; stopping off for a beer in Leuven, home of the world’s largest brewing company; and cycling the route of the Paris- Roubaix one-day classic cycle race, in reverse.
Ian will be arriving in Paris with enough time to visit Brancusi’s Studio at the Centre Pompidou before seeing the Tour de France finish on Sunday 21 July in the French capital.
From Paris, Ian will follow the Avenue Verte cycling route to Dieppe and take the ferry to Newhaven. He will then take in Box Hill, part of the Olympic Road Race route, and onwards to London.
Ian will finish his epic 1000 mile ride at the Intoart Studio in Clapham, South London on Saturday 27 of July 2013 where he will share his adventures with the Intoart artists and enjoy a well deserved cup of tea.
It seemed a good idea to ride from Liege to London as a charity event. Since Ian lives near Liverpool and is now retired, it seemed a better idea to just get on his bike and ride from Liverpool via Liege and Lille to London – ‘L of a Bike Ride.
Clifton Wright (Intoart artist) met with Ian to find out more about the ride and you can read the full interview at: www.intoart.org.uk/studio/weblogs/studio/Blog.html.
Text: INTO13 £5 (or your amount) to 70070 (UK only)
I stumbled across the wonderful work of Artist/Illustrator and self confessed geek Johnny Joannou aka “On A Sixpence” recently and I thought I’d share with you all. I caught up with Johnny to find out about his work and inspiration.
So tell me about yourself?
I’d describe myself as a self taught geek artist, “On a Six Pence” is my first attempt to consolidate my all geeky interests. I’ve always loved sport, numbers and good design.
Why Periodic table artworks?
I collected wall charts as a youngster, I’ve always found them aesthetically pleasing. I decided to see if I could produce art versions of them.
What’s the design process?
I plan and sketch them out on paper before moving to the computer to lay them out. Next I learnt how to print with the help of a local group. My main goal was to produce a lovely piece of art that I would be willing to hang in my own home. Each image is a high quality giclée print, on a luxurious heavy weight Hahnemühle fine art paper.
‘le tour des Merveilles’ © On A Six Pence
What is your favourite piece?
My favourite piece, ‘le tour des Merveilles’, is a visual tribute to the Tour, using the iconic periodic table as the framework. My father is very keen cyclist (it’s his bike in the main photo), so cycling knowledge has always been around me, but it was the idea of a cycling twitterer who had seen my previous works covering football teams. The prints show every winner of the Tour de France, with distance covered and average speed. I used colours based on a beautiful Parisian poster from Meteore the bicycle manufacture.
I now make it possible for people to buy personalised prints by including an addition cell to include information about the client or recipient.
So what’s next?
Response from the cycling community has been wonderful, I’ve been amazed at what a friendly, positive and always supportive lot the cycling community are . At the moment I am finishing the Giro D’Italia print. I’ve also been asked to produce a Giro Donne print. I will be updating the Tour de France print when the current tour finishes. I’m hoping to produce a periodic table for every major sport! I’m always open to new ideas so if the Cycling Shorts readers have any suggestions I’d love to hear them!
I’d like to thank Johnny for his time and I suggest you check out the full range of his work at the “on A Six Pence” website: www.onasixpence.bigcartel.com
Johnny has also very kindly given Cycling Shorts. readers to win a signed Tour de France ‘le tour des Merveilles’ signed print when it’s been updated after this tour. So head over to the competition now and you could be lucky enough to win one of these beauties.
My pal Mark Sullivan found this gem in the depths of the internet and I had to share it with you. It takes me back to my childhood and putting drinking straws on my spokes.
This short film by Stephen Meierding is made with bicycle parts, it’s quite mesmerising.
A short film created using bicycle parts.
Created by Stephen Meierding
Opening Title Design: Mark Mccormick
Camera Assistants: Shelly Rangsiyakl, Johnny Huttenberger, Jesalee Go
Winner of Bike Short Film Festival Spring 2012 in NYC
Bike Typogram by Aaron Kuehn @Aarline
Bike Typograms by designer Aaron Kuehn at Aarline
Ever found yourself stuck trying to remember that thingimy, you know, the one that attaches to the oojamaflip, well stress no more! With the help of this beautiful typographic illustration from designer/illustrator Aaron Kuehn at Aarline.
Aaron pulling a screen print of the Bike Typogram
This illustration was first produced by Aaron for the LACBC Bicycle Resource Guide but after major interest in the design Aaron decided to produce limited edition screen prints in different colour ways.
Based in Los Angeles, USA he produces the prints at the professional community run print house Grow Your Own Media, set up by local designers and artists, so Aaron stays hands on right until the print hits the postal service.
Typography seems to have fallen out of favour with the design set of late so it’s nice to see someone celebrating it. Chapeau to you Aaron!
Bike Typogram prints drying on the racks
For more information about Aaron Kuehn and his work please click here to be taken to his website.
To buy Aaron’s Bike Typogram Prints and T-Shirts please click here.
CLICK HERE TO ENTER OUR EXCLUSIVE PRIZE DRAW TO WIN AARON’S SIGNED BIKE TYPOGRAM ARTIST PROOFS!
Finished Limited Edition Bike Typogram
All images ©Copyright Aaron Keuhn at Aarline