Whether you speed about town on a mighty chrome steed or amble about on foot, pull skid stops at traffic lights or wait politely as the signals change on your train you must have noticed your local area filling up with bikes. If you live in a city the summery streets are now teeming with lycra-clad roadies, moustachioed skidders and one or two smartly-dressed gentlemen on Bromptons. Like it or not, bicycle culture is here to stay, and its influence on contemporary image-making is profound.
Adding to the already prolific number of cycle-themed shows we’ve seen in the last couple of years is Kemistry Gallery’s Grand Boucle, a print-based bike show with a difference. Designer Christoph Reichert and printer Dolly Demoratti have united to present a visual history of track and racing bikes, from the meticulously-lugged, hand-painted steel frames of the early twentieth century to the ultra-lightweight carbon speed-machines of recent years. They’re exhibiting actual bikes, a beautiful publication and a selection of gorgeous screen prints of head badges from some of the finest traditional bike builders around (the Hetchins print in particular is an absolute beauty).
If you think you’ve seen all the bike art you can handle, think again, Grand Boucle manages to do something interesting and fresh with this ubiquitous format.