International artist unveils his designs for giant installations on the Tour de France route

Award-winning international artist Imran Qureshi has revealed his designs for two land-scale art installations at Yorkshire Water’s Baitings Reservoir, Ripponden, in Calderdale. The brand new pieces, Here and There and Bridging, will be the first public artwork Imran Qureshi has created for display in the UK.

The pieces form part of the Fields of Vision project, a series of land art installations that will line the race route and animateDay Two of the Grand Départ on Sunday, July 6. The stunning landscape of the South Pennines will be seen by billions as the Tour de France peloton sweeps from York to Sheffield.

The spectacular Here and There piece will be created as a reflection of the reservoir water, with two splashes moving in opposite directions, one red and one blue, with white highlights; colours inspired by the French Tricolour. Bridging will use a range of media translating Tour de France into Urdu calligraphic text (known as Sulus). This element is designed to celebrate the universal appeal of the Tour and explore the possibilities of bridging between East and West. Both pieces will be visible from Baitings Reservoir car park and the dam walkway throughout the summer, and from the air as the news helicopters follow the progress of the race.

Imran Qureshi explained: “It conjures up an image of a kind of force, energy and movement in a very positive, natural and environmentally friendly way. From a distance the works are perceived to be liquid splashes of two different colours, but upon closer inspection you explore the presence of foliage emerging from within, synergizing the idea of nature and local environment.  It represents the crystallization of movement and activity, which to me are important elements of the Tour de France.”

One of the most important figures in the Pakistan art scene, Imran Qureshi has now also achieved global recognition as a leading figure of international contemporary art. During 2013 he was commissioned to create a piece for the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Using the 8,000 square feet of the roof garden as his canvas, he was the first artist to create a work directly onto the fabric of the building. He became the Deutsche Bank’s Artist of the Year in 2013 and this autumn the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, will host a major survey of his work.

Henrietta Duckworth, Executive Producer of the Yorkshire Festival, said: “We are very excited that Imran Qureshi is coming to create work in Yorkshire for the first time, and that this is his first opportunity to create art at this scale in the UK and develop his own practice.

“Inspired by the essence of the Tour de France, the Festival promised world-class new work,  a celebration of our diverse communities and beautiful landscapes and for people to have free access to new experiences – Imran Qureshi’s project for Fields of Vision captures the vision of the Festival perfectly.”

Calderdale Council’s Leader, Councillor Tim Swift, said: “It’s a real coup for Calderdale that Imran Qureshi will be creating two installations in our area and it demonstrates the level of international recognition and excitement which the Yorkshire Festival is generating. This event literally puts the route and Calderdale on the map.”

The Fields of Vision project is one of nearly 50 events, across Yorkshire, that make up the Yorkshire Festival 2014; 100 days of cultural events leading up to the Tour de France. The project is being curated by Calderdale-based arts commissioner Geoff Wood who has worked with Mid Pennine Arts and Corvi Mora to bring Imran Qureshi to Yorkshire. 

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