The Sayle Gallery has an exciting fortnight ahead, by any lights…..and whether you’re a racing enthusiast or not.
Walk past the main windows, and you’ll be treated to the sight of the stunning posters from “Milestones”, artist Rachael Clegg’s calendar – which brings new interpretations to some iconic spots around the TT course. In black and white and large scale, they’re beautiful and arresting – and we’re very happy that Rachael didn’t get arrested herself whilst shooting them! “We were up and out every day for first light and shooting until 9pm most nights to avoid the public. And even though the sun was shining it was still absolutely freezing up on that mountain.”
Alongside these, and equally beautiful in its way, the replica Honda RC181 on which Mike Hailwood and Jim Redman won, between them, five out of the nine races in which it was entered in 1966. It’s been attracting attention from the moment it appeared in the main window, unsurprisingly.
Venture into the shop space, and a range of works – both racing-related and otherwise – are on show and on sale; from the glassware of famed artist Peter Layton to the racing prints of John Hancox, Peter Hearsey’s timeless etchings and a display of Mike Hailwood memorabilia curated by his engaging son David.
But the main draws are to be found in the Exhibition Hall. Firstly, the Gallery’s playing host to a couple of truly remarkable machines. The Suzuki RG500 was unleashed in the mid-seventies, and debuted at the French GP in 1974 with Barry Sheene aboard. Sheene had something of a lively (and bone shattering) time with the machine, but by late 1975 it was the dominant force in World Championship racing. The one in the Gallery has a particularly poignant history; it’s the one on which Mike Hailwood rode to his last ever TT victory, in 1979; now that’s a bike worth seeing.
Sitting tail to tail with it is an equally impressive machine…..the Honda RC173 (last of its kind still in existence) which was made for Hailwood’s assault on the 1966 350cc World Championship – and on which he took the flag in all of the French, Czech, Dutch, West German and Ulster Grands Prix. And it’s beautiful.
Secondly, and equally beautiful, albeit in a very different way, are the artworks of the aforementioned Rachael Clegg. Rachael has been working with the soundwave patterns of various riders (in particular, Hailwood) to produce a series of images – each a perfect and faithful representation of the engine note from famous bikes in full song. And you can put on headphones and hear what you’re looking at – it’s a very special synaesthetc experience!
If you haven’t been in for a little while, it’s time to revisit the Sayle – you’ll see it, and the TT, in a whole different light!