BT Art of Sport at Clarendon Gallery
On Monday 25th of June, at the Clarendon Gallery, London provided a spectacular exhibition. BT Art of Sport offers a refreshing tribute in honour of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It truly had a multiplicity of aspects that made this exhibit interesting. It featured sculptures, a variety of paintings and photography. There was so much to see and the work by twelve leading United Kingdom artists, who were honourably chosen to be commissioned by Cultural Olympiad programme was truly remarkable. The artists provided so much to observe and with the large venue, there was plenty of space to navigate regardless of how crowded the gallery became.
With the games rapidly approaching, the BT Art of Sport was the perfect reminder for how exciting the Olympics are going to be.
The first thing that will catch your eye is Michael Speller’s large bronze sculptures that showcase what the Olympics are all about. With pieces titled Secure, Momentum, Commitment, and Reflection, Speller expresses what these Olympic athletes go through. Christine Charlesworth also provided bronze sculptures to set the Olympic mood. With Sprint, Diving In, and High Jump, Charlesworth allowed the viewer to capture a third dimensional image of upcoming Olympic events.
As you scan over the exhibition at Clarendon Gallery, the paintings by Dominic Wheadon will undoubtedly catch your eye. Wheadon provides a unique perception of Olympic swimmers in his pieces Olympic Swim, Olympic Dive, Olympic Hope, and Olympic Pride. Rich in colour, he uses water, depth and reflection to give the swimmers a distorted form. It is wonderful and gives a realistic aspect to the swimmers submerged in water. Another realistic collection of work was done by Teresa Witz. Her pencil drawings on canvas are simply astonishing. Her attention to detail with the portraits of Mark Foster, Olympic Swimmer and of Steve Williams, OBE Olympic Gold Medalist Rower are remarkable.
A nice change of pace in the exhibition is provided by Dylan Izaak and Jeremy Houghton. Izaak gives more of a historic, creative, and wacky aspect to his art work. Less about the Olympics and more about historic London, Izaak provides Londoners with familiar scenery with Big Ben Olympics, Manchester, and Tower Bridge Olympics. On some of his paintings, he also gives a comic relief, which was a nice touch. Houghton has some amazing water colour pieces that you will absolutely love to see. He provides exceptional detail with Olympic Rowers and Olympic Sailing. His work also has an abstract sense that had the crowd continuously changing angles when observing.
All of the art work at Clarendon Gallery is worth seeing. However, with that in mind, the highlight of the exhibit was the work of PINS. PINS brought the seriousness of the Olympic Games, and combined it with fun and creativity. With PINS obvious obsession with donuts, the artist created numerous paintings with Olympic events while donuts somehow made their way into the picture. With titles Pass the Donut, Cheeky Donut, A Sweet Finish, Slam ‘n’ Dunk, and Splashhh, PINS showed Olympic events with some humour. From running relays, BMX racing, basketball, to diving, the artist included donuts in each piece.
The paintings are unique and peculiar and they easily attract people. Every time someone passed by to look, a smile was brought to their face. It was also a great icebreaker and kick-started dialogue among total strangers. Even though PINS’ images are humorous, they also have a serious meaning. One example that stood out was a piece that said “A LIFE WITHOUT GOALS, IS LIKE AN AIRMAX WITHOUT AIR BUBBLES.” It showed a white Nike shoe in front of a yellow background and below the shoe was the word “POINTLESS.”
The BT Art of Sport at Clarendon Gallery is a special exhibition. It demonstrates the hard work and dedication by upcoming Olympic and Paralympic athletes and also the artists that portrayed them.
Photos: Marco Arias Rua
BT Art of Sport is at Clarendon Gallery, 46 Dover St, London W1S 4FF, until 30th June 2012. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.