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mount batten centre, plymouth
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South Oxhey Leisure Centre, Watford

Olympic Painting Commissioned at Wentworth Leisure Centre

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Mount Batten Group
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The official unveiling of three pieces of commemorative artwork to celebrate the 2012 Olympic Games in London took place this week at Wentworth Leisure Centre in Hexham, carried out by 3 times Olympic athlete and sub 4 mile record holder on the Wentworth track, John Mayock.

Dave Barden, artist-in-residence at Wentworth from 1988 to 1989, was re-commissioned by leisure charity North Country Leisure (NCL), which manages the building, to produce a new, Olympic themed painting for the centre.

The work, based on the Olympic motto, 'Citius, Altius, Fortius' – Faster, Higher, Stronger is displayed over three canvases and is now on view in the reception area.

Twenty years ago Dave was a commissioned artist at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, where he produced paintings and drawings based on athletics in the main stadium, including one depicting Linford Christie winning the 100 metres. This work is on display in Wentworth Leisure Centre along with more of Dave's artwork. Other pieces are in the permanent collection at the prestigious Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Dave says, "In re-appraising the work I did in Barcelona, I recognize that I concentrated exclusively on track and field athletics; not surprisingly really as this is my own sport. In the new work I wanted to embrace other Olympic sports, which reflect the excellent facilities we have at Wentworth, notably the swimming pool and gym."

Cllr Neil Bradbury Executive Member for Customer Services and Culture at Northumberland County Council congratulated North Country Leisure on commissioning the artwork, saying "This special year of the Olympic Games in London was an opportune time for North Country Leisure to re-commission Dave to produce something new, to help celebrate this once in a lifetime event, whilst providing a legacy going forward for the centre and the community as a whole. The celebration of sporting achievement captured in Dave's artwork is a fantastic addition to the leisure centre."

Chair of NCL West Northumberland, Jon Watson said, "As a charity, with the aim of offering 'Excellent Sports and Leisure for All', North Country Leisure is all about encouraging people to stay active and healthy, and this new piece of artwork with its Olympic theme will provide lasting, visual inspiration to our customers. Many thanks to Dave for all his hard work on this project."

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The official unveiling of three pieces of commemorative artwork to celebrate the 2012 Olympic Games in London took place this week at Wentworth Leisure Centre in Hexham, carried out by 3 times Olympic athlete and sub 4 mile record holder on the Wentworth track, John Mayock.
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