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GP Week : Issue 214
F1 >>> FEATUrE L TO R: Mark Dickens, World Champion Damon Hill Keith Sutton 24 GPWEEK.com // 24 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: With the theme and concept firmly established in Dickens’ mind, how did the pieces of art come together? “I’ve always incorporated photographic elements into my work,” he says. “The images are an important starting point. It then involves building up layer upon layer of additional material, such as fabric and gold leaf to help lift the images. The nice thing is that much of the fabric is obtained from my travels around the world, be it national colours or country flags. I’m then able to use relevant colours for each nationality of subject – so the blue and white of Argentina for Juan Manuel Fangio, for example. “I use resin on the panels which tends to add transparency to the images, which brings out what’s underneath,” he adds. “It adds an extra dimension to the picture, allowing you to see something unexpected.” As well as the images of the drivers and the material introduced that helps to add a fresh perspective, Dickens uses images from the grand prix paddocks and surrounding areas, including arrows and signage, which help to maintain the theme while ensuring each piece is unique. Dickens admits to a secret that helps guarantee all 24 paintings are different yet loyal to the cause. “I’m working on them simultaneously,” he says. “I’ve got quite a large studio! It helps with the flow and drying times, as well as making sure there’s no repetition.” Integral – and crucial – to the 24 pieces are once again the personalised elements, now a trademark of Dickens’ work. This time, that takes the form of handwritten quotes by leading F1 drivers, team principals and motorsport personalities reflecting on what makes their chosen world champion special and a legend of the sport. It was Sutton himself who had the enviable task of collaborating with the great and good of F1 to collate the tribute messages. “Over the past year, which is how long we’ve been working on this, I’ve spoken to world champions, past drivers, current drivers, team bosses, engineers, even personal trainers, not to mention non-F1 celebrities who are self-confessed F1 fans,” Sutton says. “Everyone’s been really supportive and willing. There are over 100 people on the contributors’ list so it’s been a long process involving some fabulous people.” Dickens adds his approval to the concept. “When the artwork is combined with the handwritten tributes from other drivers and industry personalities the art really takes on a life of its own,” he says. “To celebrate these drivers in such a way really brings their achievements to life. And everyone who has offered up some thoughts and reflections on their champion has been so willing and enthusiastic. They’ve loved writing about their heroes – it’s added an extra treat and World Champions in art includes the following F1 worldbeaters Juan Manuel Fangio –1951, 1954-57 Jack Brabham – 1959-60, 1966 Graham Hill – 1962, 1968 Jim Clark – 1963, 1965 John Surtees – 1964 Jackie Stewart – 1969, 1971, 1973 Jochen Rindt – 1970 Emerson Fittipaldi – 1972, 1974 Niki Lauda – 1975, 1977, 1984 James Hunt – 1976 Mario Andretti – 1978 Jody Scheckter – 1979 Nelson Piquet – 1981, 1983, 1987 Alain Prost – 1985-86, 1989, 1993 Ayrton Senna – 1988, 1990-91 Nigel Mansell – 1992 Michael Schumacher – 1994-95, 2000-04 Damon Hill – 1996 Mika Hakkinen – 1998-99 Fernando Alonso – 2005-06 Kimi Raikkonen – 2007 Lewis Hamilton – 2008 Jenson Button – 2009 Sebastian Vettel – 2010-13