FOUR captivating pieces of art have been unveiled by Middlesbrough-born artist Mackenzie Thorpe to celebrate the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire.

Mackenzie, who hails from Middlesbrough, is one of the biggest-selling British artists of the last 30 years.

He was confirmed as the official Tour de Yorkshire artist for 2019 when the full route for the fifth edition – which takes place between May 2 and 5 – was announced in December.

The Northern Echo:

Famed for his atmospheric and poignant creations, Mackenzie’s work is true to his working-class roots and packed with emotional expression which speaks of hope, love, struggle and challenge - values which align perfectly with the spirit of the Tour de Yorkshire.

The four works, entitled Yorkshire Coast, Over Moor and Dale, Riding with Grandad and The Boy Without a Bike, have been exclusively revealed today at Arthaus Gallery in Richmond, North Yorkshire which was established by Mackenzie in 1989.

The Northern Echo:

Speaking at the launch of the artworks, Mackenzie Thorpe said: “I'm absolutely thrilled and honoured to be the official artist for the Tour de Yorkshire. For me the whole county is a never-ending inspiration; the dramatic skies, the dales and the moors are like nowhere I have ever been.

“When I was thinking about the images, I knew I wanted to create a collection which also reflected the broader impact the race has on people.

The Northern Echo:

"So, alongside images of peak fitness cyclists speeding through our glorious hills, dales and coast, there is (for instance) 'Riding with Grandad' which shows a child in a Yorkshire town, learning to ride a bicycle, aided by their grandfather. Or ‘The Boy Without a Bike’; a lone child standing watching the racers speed past and dreaming of the day that he too might ride like the wind on a bicycle all of his own.

The Northern Echo:

"This is what the race is all about for me, who couldn't fail to be moved by the sheer spectacle and impact the race has on anyone who comes into contact with it.”

Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “Mackenzie has a global following. As well as the UK, his work adorns galleries throughout America, Japan and Australia, and celebrity collectors include HM Queen Elizabeth II, JK Rowling, and Tom Hardy.

"This new and stunning collection will promote the beauty of Yorkshire and the spirt of the Tour de Yorkshire to a massive audience.”

Yorkshire has been a major inspiration for Mackenzie’s art over the last 30 years and he has described his inspiration behind each of the Tour de Yorkshire official pieces with a short poem also accompanying each artwork.