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Former Olympic rower Annabel Eyres, from Tiptoe in the New Forest, commissioned for Paris Olympics art showcase





A TIPTOE artist and former GB rower is one of six worldwide chosen to showcase her work at the Paris Olympics.

Former athlete Annabel Eyres has been commissioned to produce a collection for the Olympic Art Exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. She is set to travel to the France capital at the end of the month.

The initative was launched five years ago by the International Olympic Committee’s director of culture and heritage Angelita Teo, to enable former Olympians and Paralympians to create and display their artwork.

Annabel Eyres is one of six international Olympic Artists chosen
Annabel Eyres is one of six international Olympic Artists chosen

Annabel, who also runs a yoga retreat with her husband Angus in the village, has created eight pieces for the exhibition which will be on display throughout the Olympic Games. Her work, which is set to be transported to Paris next week, includes six framed paintings and two textured designs which have been created to be accessible for the visually impaired.

Annabel initially responded to callout from the Olympic Museum in May 2023 looking for Olympian artists to take part in the Paris Games. She submitted her proposal, and in October she heard she had been selected.

Annabel Eyres in the 1992 Olympic Rowing Regatta Lake Banyoles, Catalonia (photo: Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images)
Annabel Eyres in the 1992 Olympic Rowing Regatta Lake Banyoles, Catalonia (photo: Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images)

“After taking part in the Olympics many years ago it’s wonderful to have another bite at the apple,” said Annabel. “When I heard I had been selected it was incredibly exciting – but I only had about two months to produce all the work.”

Alongside Annabel the other former Olympians chosen for the 2024 Paris games are Australian Clementine Stoney Maconachie; Luc Abalo and Enzo Lefort from France; Brooklyn McDougall from Canada and Guy Concepción, who competed for the Philippines.

Annabel Eyres is one of six international Olympic Artists chosen
Annabel Eyres is one of six international Olympic Artists chosen

Annabel added: “The work is under-wraps for the time being but all will be revealed closer to the Olympics.”

Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, who played rugby for England, Annabel took up rowing while at Oxford University studying fine art at Pembroke College. She specialised in figurative painting and print-making.

From her first outing in a boat she was hooked, and a year later Annabel rowed for Oxford in the boat race before she joined the GB Squad. She competed for Team GB from 1987, taking part in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

Annabel Eyres is one of six international Olympic Artists chosen
Annabel Eyres is one of six international Olympic Artists chosen

To fund her international rowing career, Annabel and two fellow athletes formed a T-shirt design business which grew to supply most of the UK rowing events with merchandise. Annabel adapted her traditional painting, drawing and print making skills to become a graphic designer.

Annabel’s more recent work is still reminiscent of her days as a designer. She remains a largely figurative artist and is most interested in depicting the human form while in motion using minimal lines. Her recent work is inspired by Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), a British photographer whose life’s work was devoted to photographing humans and animals in motion.



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