Commissioned in 2010 for one of the grand stucco fronted Nash terraced houses in Regents Park, London,this frieze depicts a narrative story illustrating the original six Olympic Games which were held between the city states of Ancient Greece in Athens.
‘The Athletes’ was commissioned during the redevelopment of the Mews House and is located above the doorways on the East facing part of this building. The brief was to produce panels that would provide a classically inspired Mediterranean feel within a tranquil garden setting echoing the ornate Stucco work on this building in this area of London. The fine quality and sophistication of execution of the plasterwork on the front of these properties was something that I wanted to work with but not be constrained by in making a frieze which would tell the story of the original seven Olympic games: Throwing, Marathon, Horsemanship, Discus, Javelin and Wrestling and would be installed ahead of the 2012 Games that were coming to London.
Drawings were submitted and approved before the clay work commenced and developed from these initial pencil drawings. The work would be made in two panels and joined on location. The figure work was intentionally loose and fluid and something that I wanted to create was the motion figure narrative avoiding, for example, the classic cliché Diskobolus of Myron pose of antiquity. This is a relief depicting the athletes involved in their activity without it becoming the obvious part of the Frieze.
The work was executed in Portland Jesmonite and will last for many many years outdoors and will not need painting as the colour is intrinsic to the material.