The Kirkgate Triptych

A commission artwork for The Leeming Building Leeds by artist James Straffon
A commission artwork for The Leeming Building Leeds by artist James Straffon
A commission artwork for The Leeming Building Leeds by artist James Straffon

A commission artwork for The Leeming Building Leeds by artist James Straffon

The Leeming Building, Leeds is a creative space for creative thinkers. It engenders an environment of growth and progress, through acknowledgement of our heritage and also our future. An understanding of those values is the core thinking behind the Kirkgate Triptych. This artwork takes its inspiration from a plethora of rich visual source materials, all found within the historic Kirkgate Market, around which The Leeming Building is wrapped, on its western flank, fronting Vicar Lane. Below are listed the imagery and symbolism incorporated within the landscape of this artwork.

Joseph and John Leeming
Originally from the local town of Halifax, John Leeming (1849-1931) and Joseph Leeming (1850-1929) took their architectural design expertise into new ground, when Kirkgate Market became the biggest indoor market in Europe, when it opened in 1904.

Two-legged dragons 
As part of their design, the Leemings installed numerous cast-iron wyverns (each a dragon wrapped around a structure) as brackets supporting the gallery level above. A common Victorian motif for decorating civic buildings, these forms make a connection with our heraldic past, and a fascination with the orient.

The Owl 
The owl is a civic symbol of Leeds, and is part of the city’s coat-of-arms. These birds are featured across many of the city’s buildings, to such as extent that there is a recognised Leeds Owl Trail. Antonia Stowe, one of the artists responsible for the trail, states “The owls are part of the city’s heritage. [The trail] anchors people in their city. It’s all about connecting to our city.”

The Wool Industry
Another component within the city’s coat-of-arms is a fleece, here symbolising the wool industry, about which the seventeenth and eighteenth century city of Leeds prospered during the Industrial Revolution. Subverting this image, through application of the Pure Wool symbol provides an updated, 21st-century proposition.

M&S
Within the market, Lithuanian Michael Marks once set up a stall called the Penny Bazaar. This went on to become the Marks & Spencer brand we know today. This ampersand [&] is taken from an original Penny Bazaar advertisement.

William Potts & Sons
Established in Leeds, in 1833, William Potts & Sons became a major manufacturer of public clocks. Among these are the clocks on the Town Hall and Corn Exchange, Oakwood Clock (originally created for, and set in, the centre of Kirkgate Market) and the mechanically animated time pieces that sit up on high in both the Thornton’s and Grand arcades. The newly restored Oakwood Clock was unveiled in 2015. Its crown boasts four golden pegacorns (a fusion of unicorn and winged Pegasus), and an owl as part of the wind vane.

The Kirkgate Triptych is a project created in association with

A commission artwork for The Leeming Building Leeds by artist James Straffon

A commission artwork for The Leeming Building Leeds by artist James Straffon

A commission artwork for The Leeming Building Leeds by artist James Straffon


All artwork, text and images © James Straffon 2020.

Carbon, Sulphur and Paint


Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Jacques Anquetil
Legends [originals]
50 x 40cm x 3.5cm
Pigment print, collage, acrylic, spray paint, Krink marker on canvas.


Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Eddy Merckx
Legends [originals]
50 x 40cm x 3.5cm
Pigment print, collage, acrylic, spray paint, Krink marker on canvas.


Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Barry Hoban
Legends [originals]
50 x 40cm x 3.5cm
Pigment print, collage, acrylic, spray paint, Krink marker on canvas.


Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Fausto Coppi
Legends [originals]
50 x 40cm x 3.5cm
Pigment print, collage, acrylic, spray paint, Krink marker on canvas.


Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Brian Robinson
Legends [originals]
50 x 40cm x 3.5cm
Pigment print, collage, acrylic, spray paint, Krink marker on canvas.


Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tom Simpson
Legends [originals]
50 x 40cm x 3.5cm
Pigment print, collage, acrylic, spray paint, Krink marker on canvas.


Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Harry Binns
Legends [originals]
50 x 40cm x 3.5cm
Pigment print, collage, acrylic, spray paint, Krink marker on canvas.


Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Bradley Wiggins
Legends [originals]
50 x 40cm x 3.5cm
Pigment print, collage, acrylic, spray paint, Krink marker on canvas.


Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Mark Cavendish
Legends [originals]
50 x 40cm x 3.5cm
Pigment print, collage, acrylic, spray paint, Krink marker on canvas.


Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon
Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Carte Postale (Post Card)
20 x 16 inches.
Acrylic Box frame, archival pigment print on Hahnmühle German Etching 310 gsm.
A limited edition of 15. Signed and numbered.
£495


Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Contrôle Anti-Dopage
40.5 x 60.5 x 4.5cm
Acrylic box frame. Original Tour de France sign. Mixed media, acrylic and spray paint.


Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon
Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

'Kids from Kilburn aren't supposed to win the Tour'
550 x 22 x 22 cm
Acrylic, pen and mixed media - vintage cycling magazines and Tour de France Route map - original Départ sign from the 2012 Tour de France (hosted by Liège), Bont cycling shoe worn (Team Sky race-used) by Bradley Wiggins, 20mm board and hand-forged meat hook.




Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France Tom Simpson cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France Tom Simpson cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France Tom Simpson cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France Tom Simpson cycling art created by artist James Straffon

Tour de France cycling art created by artist James Straffon


RedHouse Originals is proud to present Carbon, Sulphur and Paint; A Solo Exhibition featuring new works by James Straffon, presented through one man's pursuit of the greatest race in the world - the Tour de France.


7th June - 19th July 2014
RedHouse Originals
15 Cheltenham Mount, Harrogate HG1 1DW

Carbon, Sulphur and Paint incorporates 42 new artworks, celebrating the unique history and unrivalled heritage of the Tour de France and its affinity with Yorkshire. This is complemented by a “Hall Of Fame” with portraits of some of the greatest riders to grace the tour alongside the biggest names riding today, including a special collection of original cycling shoes painted and collaged by the artist. On show are examples used by Bradley Wiggins and David Millar, plus a unique Rapha piece and “Sprinter”; signed by Mark Cavendish, Paul Smith, Alex Dowsett, Matt Goss and Dean Downing.

Who Is Harry Binns?
The legend of Harry Binns is highlighted in the exhibition. Harry is seen by many to represent “spirit of the tour” and the artist will pose the eternal question “Who Is Harry?”
All artwork, text and images © James Straffon 2020.