BLUE JEANS TALKING: Artist Ian Berry, surrounded by the Senna family's jeans, with his portrait of Ayrton Senna created from shades of denim. Thumbnails: Berry with Bianca Senna. Image: Autosport International / Newspress
LONDON, England - Six months before the 2015 British Formula 1 GP at Silverstone race fans will be able to celebrate the pinnacle of motorsport at Autosport International in January and witness the European debut of a portrait of the legendary Ayrton Senna created by British artist Ian Berry.
It's made out of material from old jeans.
Known as ‘Denimu’, Berry uses shades of layered denim as his palette and was commissioned by the Ayrton Senna Institute to commemorate the 20th year since the three-times F1 champion’s death in 1994. The jeans were all owned by members of the Senna family.
Autosport International will celebrate its 25th anniversary at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, central England, through January 8-11 January and has been selected by the family and the institute, which works to increase the quality of education available to Brazilian children, to host the stunning 122cm x 160cm artwork’s first viewing in Europe.
It was recently unveiled in Senna’s home town, Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Bianca Senna, niece of Ayrton, told Brazilian TV network Globo before describing Ayrton’s mother’s reaction: “It was simply spectacular. It was very exciting to see the result. When my grandmother saw it she cried and was excited all day.”
'HE WAS AN ICON'
Further Formula 1 flavour at Europe’s biggest motorsport show will come through the F1 Racing Grid, which will host Berry’s unique portrait, and guests such as 13-times Grand Prix winner and BBC F1 expert David Coulthard.
Berry said of his creation: “I remember playing a racing game and we all wanted to be Senna. I was only 10 in 1994, but I remember. In later life I realised that he was an icon that transcended the sport of motor racin, one of the greatest icons of the 20th century whose legacy lives far into the 21st.
"To be told by the family that it captured all his emotions and every part – the nose, mouth,the eyes especially, and even down to the hair – it made me very happy.”
With Berry to be present and a ‘making of’ video to be shown, the F1 Racing Grid will showcase cars from the Formula 1 championship. Led by new champion team Mercedes, it will also display motoring works of art from the likes of Ferrari, Williams, McLaren and Red Bull.
Coulthard, a driver for the last three teams during a decorated 15-year career, will take to the stage during the show’s public days, January 10/11, to dissect the sensational 2014 season and look ahead to the new campaign. He'll be joined by BBC F1 colleague and former Toyota F1 pilot Allan McNish, with more guests to be announced.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports F1’s David Croft will host adrenalin-fuelled shows in the 5000-seat Live Action Arena, the UK’s largest indoor racetrack.
Other Autosport International guests will include 2014 World Rallycross and World Rally champion Petter Solberg and British Touring Car championship heroes Colin Turkington, Matt Neal, Andrew Jordan and Gordon Shedden.
If you're going to be in the UK in January, tickets to Autosport International are available from £32 for adults, with children’s tickets priced from £21. Under-fives get free entry. For tickets, visit the Autosport International website.