British portrait artist and sculptor Paul Oz has created a stunning homage to F1 legend Ayrton Senna that is on display at this week's Autosport International Show in Birmingham.
The outstanding piece of work is described by Oz as "160kg of raw bronze in the dynamic of Eau Rouge into Radillon", and "the biggest most ambitious project of my career".
Formula 1 has been a long-lasting passion in Paul Oz's life, an artist who credits the basis of his creativity to literally "decades of messing with Lego".
"I first created artwork for Bianca Senna and Instituto Ayrton Senna to mark 20 years since Ayrton’s passing, an oil painting which was auctioned for the charity by Bianca in London," says Oz
"Almost since then I’d been thinking how I could create something truly next level to mark 25 years.
"I’d also been trying to think how to utilise a system my photographers were developing to create 3D images and models by knitting together hundreds of 2D images.
"We were thinking along the lines of capturing my F1 component sculptures in this way to make smaller bronze editions of them... before I had the eureka moment of capturing a figure to actually make the sculpture from scratch.
"We believe no-one has ever done this before, from photography directly to a bronze statue - usually white light scanning is used for 3D scanning, but that would be impossible for a shape of this scale, position and complexity.
"The MD of the foundry indeed called it a watershed moment when it came out of the cast."
The inspiration for the posture of the Senna bronze was sourced from a famous quote by the legendary Brazilian driver.
"Ayrton said in 1993 ‘If you take away Eau Rouge, you take away the reason why I do this’, so it was my thought to mark this most iconic section of track with the pose of the figure – left – right – up hill, accelerating hard, back end trying to kick out."
And Oz actually relied on himself to set and execute the sculptured pose.
"Slightly serendipitously I’m the same height and shoe size as Ayrton was, maybe a few kg heavier but the same build," he explains.
"All official replica kit is in his size, and for my concept it needed to fit perfectly... que several months training hard on a low carb diet!
"So it was me adopting the pose to be photographed... and holding that position for minutes at a time is for sure the first actual suffering I have ever done for my art."
The Autosport International Show at the NEC in Birmingham runs from January 10 to 13, while you can learn more about Paul Oz and his incredible art at https://pauloz.com.