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Racing Through Time exhibition to be opened by Conor Cummins 11 August 2011

An exhibition showing the work of a year long artist residency funded by the Isle of Man Arts Council will be opened by Conor Cummins at Ramsey Town Hall on 19th August.

Racing Through Time is an exhibition of twenty paintings by Manx artist Michael Starkey. The artwork was commissioned by the Isle of Man Arts Council to commemorate the centenary of the Mountain Course in 2011 and the first part of the exhibition was displayed in the Villa Marina during TT fortnight this year. The complete collection of paintings is now finished and will be on display in Ramsey Town Hall during Grand Prix fortnight and until 16th September 2011.

The paintings depict various points of the TT course throughout the decades since the TT began, showing how some of the course has changed considerably, while other sections of it remain the same as it always has done. Michael has undertaken extensive archive research to ensure the paintings are historically accurate.

Local TT competitor Conor Cummins, who currently holds the record for being the fastest Manxman round the TT course, will open the exhibition with Quintin Gill MHK, Chairman of the Arts Council. For those attending the opening there will be a chance to see Conor’s Kawasaki bike and leathers and an early Indian motorcycle such as those that won the TT in 1911.

Michael Starkey said:

“I have tried to capture a moment either before the bikes have arrived or just gone past. I wanted to record that feeling of anticipation that comes with an empty road. The roads and banks have changed many times since 1911 but the atmosphere has remained the same. The one thing that comes back over and over is the enthusiasm and knowledge that both riders and fans have. There are many parts of the course I have not painted, maybe next time.”

The complete collection will now become part of the Arts Council’s contemporary art loan collection. The loan collection consists of 349 original pieces of art and prints and is displayed in public buildings and schools. Michael becomes one of many Manx artists whose work is included in the collection such as Michael Sandle, Norman Sayle, Chris Killip, Bryan Kneale, Peter Hearsey, Juan Moore and Adam Berry.

Hon David Cretney MHK, Minister for Community, Culture and Leisure said:

“This exhibition combines two of the things the Isle of Man can be most proud of, its motorsport heritage and the high standard of prolific artists we have here. This wonderful collection of art is a permanent record of how the TT course has developed throughout its history and Michael deserves credit for the research and time he has given to ensure every detail is correct.”

Quintin Gill MHK, Chairman of the Arts Council said:

“This is the second artist residency and exhibition this year that the Arts Council has funded and both artists have shown an exceptionally high quality and dedication to their work. Racing Through Time is a perfect example of Michael’s talent and attention to detail, and the Arts Council are very proud to have supported him and to own the complete set of twenty paintings as part of the loan collection.”

Also part of the exhibition will be an enlargement of Michael’s painting of Ramsey Town Hall in 1957 that people can have their photograph taken next to dressed as a marshal. On Monday 29th August visitors to the exhibition will have the chance to ‘Meet the Artist’ as Michael Starkey will be at the exhibition all day to talk to people and answer questions.

Books detailing the work behind the collection and postcards of the paintings will be available at various outlets on the Isle of Man or from the arts office of the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure Tel: (01624) 694598 or Email: iomartscouncil@gov.im. Books are priced at £7.99 and postcard sets are priced at £4.99. A £1.00 fee will be added for postage and packing.

For more information about the exhibition or the books and postcards please contact the arts office or visit the Arts Council’s website www.iomarts.com

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