How do you best immortalise the great Mick Doohan and the big bang Honda NSR500 with which he dominated Grand Prix racing in the 90s? An Australian artist has answered this by creating an art installation that sees a hand-created replica of the bike exploded and suspended from the ceiling.
The Doohan piece is appropriately titled 'The Big Bang' and as artist Eamon O'Tootle describes, "It is a complex sculpture comprising thousands of parts joining to make up a whole and symbolic tribute to the true inherent nature of art and sport – the creativity of design, where the mechanical is modified to suit the needs of man."
Eamon added: "The way the Doohan piece came about was that one of the bikes Mick rode had an engine configuration called the Big Bang. I wanted to make something that put Mick into that arena of something special and that nothing truly existed until he came along. I wanted him to be immortalised to some extent and that was the best way I could do that. That’s why it is an exploded three-dimensional drawing of Mick and the Bike."
'The Big Bang' was created from over 300 components and took more than 600 hours to make the various components from heat moulded PVC and then suspending them from a 3D clothesline. Each part of the NSR500 had to created from magazine photos, drawings and research from the internet. For the detailing Eamon used enamel paints and finished it off with aluminium, gold and silver leaf.
He also created a similar piece based on Australia's first 500GP champion, Wayne Gardner (pictured below). Like 'The Big Bang' it was made out of hand-moulded plastic but features a metal frame and is filled with foam - so that the owner could sit on it.
Eamon's inspiration for his motorcycle artwork comes from, what he calls a 'love of tinkering and backyard improvisation' that combined with his passion for motorbikes led him to pay homage to the mechanical and the artistic simultaneously with full-scale plastic sculptures.
Both pieces are currently in an exhibition titled 'Revhead' at the Ipswich Art Gallery in Australia.