A brush with speed

IT'S rare that lovers of art and motorcycle road racing meet in the same room but a new exhibition at Ballymoney Town Hall will be challenging all the usual preconceptions.

A Brush with Speed is an exhibition organised by Ballymoney artist Lee Robinson (PICTURED RIGHT) who is renowned for his paintings of some of Ireland's most famous road racing heroes.

This will be a unique opportunity to see all his work brought together in one room and it is certain to appeal to the thousands of bikers who come to the North West 200 every year.

The pictures include riders past and present painted on canvas and, uniquely, as a motif on a Lambeg Drum!

Alongside Lee's work will be contributions from other acclaimed local artists, all on the subject of road racing.

The exhibition will be a poignant experience for Lee as his father, Mervyn Robinson, and his uncles, Joey and Robert Dunlop, were all successful riders who were tragically killed while racing.

Lee has used his artistic gift to express his personal bond with motorcycle racing.

This has helped him to create paintings that vividly portray all the excitement and thrills that make it such a popular sport. His brushwork captures a split second in a race; a moment that is gone in an instant but is immediately memorable.

Even people who have no knowledge of motorcycles will effortlessly be taken to a hedge by a roadside, with 1000cc of noise and metal scorching by.

Despite admitting to having motorcycling in his blood, Lee said he has never harboured any desire to actually throw his leg over a bike.

“Well obviously it’s in the blood but a push bike is quick enough for me!” laughed Lee.

“The only time I was ever on a bike was behind by brother Paul when we were younger.

“But I have painted all my life. I only started doing bikes about two or three years ago when I did a picture for Paul and since then it has been mostly bikes I have been painting.”

He added: “I’m looking forward to the exhibition, it’s coming on well.

“Personally I’ll have mostly action paintings as well as portraits of Joey, Frank Kennedy and my father.”

A Brush with Speed is on display at Ballymoney Town Hall on Thursday 13 May and Friday 14 May from 9am until 5pm.

It has been organised in association with Ballymoney Museum where visitors can also see Road Racing Nation an exhibition celebrating Northern Ireland's road racing heritage.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome. For further information, please contact Ballymoney Tourist Information, Tel: (028) 2766 0230.