Education 15 Jul 2014

Writtle College planning landscape artwork for the Tour de France!

Writtle College is planning a huge landscape artwork that can be viewed from the helicopters following the Tour de France to celebrate its journey past the historic institution.

The College – which has just launched a new Foundation degree in Cycling Performance (subject to validation) – is creating the giant stylised image of a racing cyclist out of more than 300 bales of haylage in a field on its 220-hectare estate.

The project – which has received funding from Active Chelmsford – will be realised over the course of week in a field near to Roxwell Road.

The dynamic abstracted image of a cyclist moving at speed was designed by one of the Contemporary Art and Design degree students at the College, Georgina Elizabeth, following a competition. The design is being pixelated and will then be laid out on a giant grid in the field, with each pixel being a bale – with the whole image only being seen from the air. The bales, which will be put in place using a forklift truck, are from the College’s own fields as well as those kindly donated by local feed merchants Thorogoods.

Writtle School of Design – the flagship design school based at the College – will create a time-lapse film of the artwork under construction and another film of the helicopter fly over so there is a legacy from the day the Tour de France went past the College on 7 July 2014.

Principal of the College Dr Stephen Waite said: “Having the Tour de France go past Writtle College is an historic occasion in our 120-year history and gives our students and staff the opportunity to participate in a world class sports and cultural event. We have a beautiful main building and picturesque campus set on 220 hectares but we wanted to create an artwork that would celebrate this momentous occasion and be seen by the helicopters as they fly over the route.

“As a College with a long history in providing inspiring specialist courses for the land-based industries we thought it would be fitting to create an installation in the environment, which is bringing together our expertise in design, agriculture and sport.”

Georgina, 29, from Holland-on-Sea, said: “My design was of course influenced by the race but I wanted it to be dynamic and eye-catching so, with that in mind, I designed a stylised rider that was easy to pixelate and re-create in the field using rectangular bales. As soon as I learned the Tour de France was passing through the area I wanted to help Writtle College be a part of this iconic event and I am thrilled that my design was chosen and will potentially be seen by thousands of people.”

  • The College has recently launched a Foundation degree in Cycling Performance (subject to validation from the University of Essex). This two-year course is designed so students can pursue their cycling ambitions while studying. Find out more at www.writtle.ac.uk/Foundation-Degree-(FdSc)-Cycling-Performance
  • Senior Sports Lecturer at the College Mark Walker has been providing coaching support to European Cyclo-Cross Champion Helen Wyman for the past two seasons and emerging star Sean Dunlea for the last four seasons. His main focus has been on their physical preparation for the extreme conditions of the cyclo-cross off-road track. Find out more at www.writtle.ac.uk/pge_PressRelease.cfm?pre=1&ID=1112&nolist=true