"The thing is with inspiration, is that you never get any warning before it hits you…”
I've always thought in 3D, I guess my painting style is testament to that, but it's obvious to me far further back than that. My entire childhood spent playing (learning...) with Lego is where I attribute much of my foundation as an artist, and I still have a felt tip collage I won a prize for aged 5, which is multi layered. At school it was pottery and woodwork that I most revelled in, then at University studying aerospace engineering, again it was the practical side. And to be honest, right now, sculpture is where my mind spends most of its time. The challenges and the costs with sculpture are exponentially greater... but also the scope of possibilities and power of the result with a much greater physical presence, should I get it right. Everything I create sculpturally, I can see in my mind’s eye from the outset, I wait for that vivid 'Eureka moment' of realisation before embarking on anything, have to be totally clear what I'm working towards, then the 'only' challenge is to bring that vision to reality. Based on three-dimensional motion capture and using the rarest of assets for hyper realism and dynamic, and a new improved take on what is fundamentally a very traditional output – 3D capture and augmented-reality modelling translated into the age-old tradition of lost wax bronze casting. And where sculpture has led me to, in a relatively short space of time, is mind blowing. Creating sculpture just feels like a legacy that is so much more permanent than paint, created from near indestructible materials that will be around for much much longer than I will be, and celebrating subjects often so revered and indeed worshipped, often by those who are so close to them... is a difficult thing to get your head around, to be responsible for creating something of that magnitude. I may well have already created my most renowned work – indeed although I will never rest from furthering what I do, I think that's fairly likely actually. But then I never saw that career defining epiphany coming either, that led me to create Senna 'Eau Rouge'. Inadvertently at first, I appear to have carved my own niche and a renewed self-styled role to celebrate the history of F1, in life-size bronze. Each statue is around 12 months from concept to realisation, and is created in three limited edition scales: Life-size, 60% (F1 wind tunnel development scale) and 20%.
The indomitable Niki Lauda, unarguably one of the most revered characters of F1 history. Not just because of his fast and fluid driving style, life dedicated to motorsport and well-documented triumph against adversity – but because of who he was as a person. So, to be tasked with creating a life-size memorial of such an iconic character, was truly daunting, never mind receiving that phone call on the very day that his passing was announced.
Just two weeks later driving back from McLaren HQ with Niki's race suit and helmet in the footwell didn't ease this pressure... but provided the ultimate realism, DNA even, to this project. Celebrating Niki's 3rd world title, for McLaren, sealed at the final championship round in Estoril, beating Prost by just half a point. The pose is based on a fleeting three fingered salute as Prost ushered Niki onto the top step of the podium – a little artistic licence to swap his podium cap out with his ubiquitous Parmalat red cap, giving Niki his helmet to hold, that being a driver’s signature, and half a step forward for dynamic.
Unveiled at McLaren on the third anniversary of Niki's passing, May 2022.
Limited editions are available in bronze:
Life-size on approval
60% scale - 110cm 35kg
20% scale - 37cm 7kg