IT is possible that The Purpleman of York, with his purple patch in Stonegate, is the most photographed cyclist in the world.

“Well, maybe apart from Lance Armstrong, but it’s not always positive with Lance,” says the quietly spoken Purple one, blending in with all things purple in the selling exhibition at Terry Brett’s gallery that will result in Purpleman taking a vanload of toys to children in Syria.

The positive vibe of the colour purple emanates from the first floor walls and gallery space at Pyramid, where Purpleman – he called himself Sebastian for one brief moment – is the curator for a collection of art, sculpture and curios.

On show is work by exhibition assistant Milladdio; vexel printmaker Mark Blackburn; Rick Tampion (inspired by the Tour de France’s Le Grand Depart); Tribal Mix; nine-year-old Hetty; pointillist painter Duncan Osbourne; Nick Norcross and Vincent Danks.

Award-winning film-maker and cartoonist Rob Martin is showing his ten-minute Purpleman film and several cartons from the 33 to be featured in the book The Adventures Of Purpleman, each copy to be signed by Purpleman in purple of course.

AndyQ, Iain Inglis, Horius, Joeseph Simon, from the United States, woodblock printer John Dawick, Lee Boxall, Middlesbrough airbrush artist David Earl and Dexter have been picked by Purpleman too. He contributes plenty of his own artwork too, from purple-daubed paintbrushes with messages of love and bonhomie to puppy-sized versions of his dog Bubbles.

“I’ve been painting in private since the 1990s, using organic vegetables, beetroot and sunflowers,” says Purpleman, whose first purple memories are of the purple potatoes on the family farm. “As a six-year-old I envisaged myself as purple and I kept having that dream,” he says.

Always purple, never yellow. “The thing that put me off was prunes and custard,” says Purpleman, whose aversion to yellow will be stretched still further by the Tour de France’s invasion of cyclists for Le Grand Depart from York in July.

“I’m going to ask Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme if the first stage winner could wear purple rather than the traditional yellow.” Ironically, the ever visible Purpleman had been asked if he would switch to Yellowman for the event.

Before Le Grand Depart arrives, Purpleman hopes to make his trip to Syria, funded by the exhibition sales. “I’m working in collaboration with Meyher, a Syrian friend I met when I was on the Purpleman bike. He’s a tailor, running his business in Harrogate but he’s lost 11 members of his family to the war in Syria,” he says.

“I’ll be doing it as a private trip as it’s purely Purpleman with love to Syria, and I’ll be taking food items too as well as the toys.”

Coming next from Purpleman will be his autobiography, I Am Purpleman, again to be printed in purple. “It’s a book about love, positivity, overcoming obstacles and expressing unconditional love for strangers, and it comes from my purple heart because I used to be normal but I wasn’t happy,” he says.

Purpleman left the “unhappy yuppie” corporate world behind him, initially to become stationary bike-riding Mr Windy City before transforming into Purpleman, perennially in a rush but never moving from his patch, seven years ago.

“I kept the windy look where I appear to be going fast but I’m actually going nowhere and finding inner calm when everyone around me is chasing happiness, but that happiness is just illusion-ary,” he says. “If they just stopped, they could find it inside themselves.”

For The Love Of Purple runs at Pyramid Gallery, York, until March 18, open daily, 10am to 5pm, except Sunday, midday to 4.30pm.

Purpleman is happy to receive toys for Syrian children during the exhibition. All exhibition proceeds, including a donation by Pyramid Gallery of its commission on sales, will go to the cause.