For safety reasons, limited numbers of children are allowed to ride the bikes at any one time, so in busy times please wait patiently until a host tells you it's your turn. Helmets are supplied by The Dowse.
Most exhibitions ask visitors to ‘look but don’t touch’. They don’t often invite you to go for a ride. Children can select a bike to ride through the gallery, activating and completing the artwork through their participation. Intended by the artist as the first part of a larger project, the exhibition displays around 50 children’s bikes, trikes and scooters, scaled for ages 3–8.
From a motley collection sourced from rubbish dumps and second hand shops, each bicycle is now beautifully customised and restored. Over the last 6 months the bicycles have undergone significant transformation; first dismantled, then sandblasted, parts replaced, chromed and assembled once more. Finally, in a twist on the tradition of an artist’s signature, each bike is fitted with a badge inscribed with the 100 Bikes Project logo.
Although the exhibition operates as a moving event as much as static display, the material quality of the objects remains important. 50 versions of one essential shape, 100 Bikes: Part 1 can be seen as a selection of exquisitely rendered sculptural or design forms.
At the heart of the exhibition is the experience of childhood, a theme running through much of Eady’s recent work. The starting point for 100 Bikes Project: Part 1 was a trip one Christmas to a recycle shop to purchase bikes for his own children. As the artist explains; “the process of collecting the bikes from the dump, stripping them down, re-painting the frames and replacing parts that were beyond repair was a valuable lesson in recycling.”
Within 100 Bikes Project: Part 1 the idea of learning is paramount, particularly the skills gained as a child moves from training wheels to a sense of their own propulsion. Scott Eady has said; “We want to protect our children from all dangers but realise the need to instil them with the tools necessary to negotiate a not-always friendly world”.
We are grateful for the generous support of :
100 Bikes Project: Part 1 is proudly part of: