Artist Tony Noble’s tribute to Roadhouse biker crew
by Val Javin, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A GROUP of bikers whose HQ is just along the road from artist Tony Noble’s studio inspired him to paint a portrait of them.
Now that painting, The Roadhouse Crew, is to go on show at a major exhibition in London.
It has been selected for the BP Portrait Award Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery where it will be displayed from June 20 to September 15.
The exhibition will then be seen in Aberdeen and Wolverhampton. It is the fifth time that Tony’s work has been accepted for what is generally seen as the most prestigious portrait competition in the world. Fifty-five paintings were selected for exhibition from a worldwide submission of 1,969 entries.
“The Roadhouse Crew is a painting of a group who live life to the full, sometimes very close to the edge, motorcycle riders whose HQ, The Roadhouse, is just a short walk from my studio,” said Tony.
“Having seen them riding past my studio most days I always thought they looked fantastic in their black leather bike gear on their monster machines, and thought what a great subject they would make for a painting.
“Their president, Big D was very enthusiastic about my idea and did everything needed to enable me to quickly get to work on the painting.
“I was always made to feel very welcome at the Roadhouse, indeed, many of the guys (and their wives/partners) made regular visits to my studio to follow my progress.
“I’ve never had so much fun working on a painting and am really grateful to the crew for their help in developing the project, and for their genuine friendship and good humour.”
Tony was inspired to paint a second portrait, this time of Big D and that picture has been selected to appear alongside work by some of Britain’s leading portrait artists in the annual Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition.
This is the fourth year in succession Tony has had work selected for this exhibition which will be on display at the Mall Galleries near Trafalgar Square between May and 24.
Tony’s studio is at Redbrick Mill, Batley Carr where he will be holding an open studio weekend on May 11 and 12 (10am to 5pm).