Specially-commissioned paintings by a Stoke-on-Trent artist have been presented to cycling stars Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish. The works of art – each depicting a cyclist based on the recipients – were created by Hanley-based artist Paine Proffitt.
Tour de France winner and seven-time Olympic medal-winner Wiggins, and World Champion and sprint legend Cavendish, received the paintings this morning, shortly before they set off from Trentham Gardens in today’s Stoke-on-Trent stage of the Tour of Britain.
The paintings, in acrylic on stretched canvas, were presented by three members of Lyme Racing Club. Sallie Birchall, Paige Milward and 5-year-old Izaak Curtis. Sallie and Paige have both been invited on to the British Cycling Elite training programme.
Paine Proffitt, whose popular work often adorns the covers of football match programmes, said:
“My work is widely known for a certain vintage style, which seemed to lend itself well to these two paintings and the cycling theme. I was delighted to be commissioned.
“The paintings are quirky and nostalgic, and I hope I’ve somehow managed to capture and reflect the two cyclists’ personalities as well as a real feel of Stoke-on-Trent with the bottle kilns and industrial buildings.”
Paula Millward, co-owner of the art shop and gallery Barewall Ltd, through which Paine was commissioned, said:
“It’s great that Paine’s work has been chosen as the city’s gift to the two cyclists. Their wins this summer have been inspiring. I hope many people are also inspired by Paine’s work when it gets this much-deserved recognition.”
Councillor Mark Meredith, cabinet member for sport for Stoke-on-Trent City Council, added:
“A warm Stoke-on-Trent welcome was guaranteed for all of the Tour of Britain cyclists, but we thought that Bradley and Mark deserved something extra, following their phenomenal performances so far this year.
“Paine’s work is very appealing and memorable, and we hope that ‘Wiggo’ and ‘Cav’ enjoy his paintings as much as his own growing number of fans already do.”