Fields of Vision:
Imran Qureshi’s Land Art Project Celebrates the Tour de France

On July 5, with the “Grand Départ,” the 101st Tour de France commences in the Northern English city of Leeds. Before it continues on to London and then to France, the tour proceeds through “God's Own County,” the harsh and breathtaking Yorkshire landscape. Visitors will be treated to a special event here, the “Fields of Vision” art festival that heralds the start of the world-famous sporting event. Two highlights of the series are the land art projects of Imran Qureshi, who was voted Deutsche Bank's “Artist of the Year” in 2013.  

The spectacular Here and There piece has been designed as a reflection of the water of the Baitings Reservoir with two splashes moving in opposite directions, one red and one blue, with white highlights; colours inspired by the French Tricolore. A closer view reveals the highlight to be lotus flowers, typical for Qureshi’s work and symbolic of hope and peaceful resistance against violence, sprouting up out of the explosion of color. With Bridging, Qureshi has built a bridge between East and West: using a variety of different media, he translated the letters of the words “Tour de France” into calligraphic text images in Urdu, the national language of his native Pakistan. Both works have been created at field-scale by a team of members of Calderdale Young Farmers.

In 2011, Qureshi won the Sharjah Biennial Prize for his installation Blessings Upon the Land of My Love. In 2013, the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle opened its doors with his exhibition as “Artist of the Year,” which introduced his work to Europe for the first time with a major solo presentation. Following its start in Berlin, the KunstHalle show made a guest appearance at the Museo d’arte contemporanea (MACRO) in Rome, and beginning on November 19, 2014 it will be on view at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year.