June 2012

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Penny Crofts: The Heat Is On

The Expo Fine Art Gallery at Heathrow Terminal 5 is delighted to hold an Olympic inspired exhibition of the work of artist Penny Crofts. Over the last year Penny has met with a number of high profile Olympic athletes to create a body of artwork which forms a legacy for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Penny has been honoured to paint Mark Hunter MBE, Steve Williams OBE, Nick Beer as well as the GB sailing team.

Penny Crofts is a talented artist with a unique vision. After initially training and practising as a nurse, Penny went on to study Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, graduating with a BA (Hons) Fine Art. As an artist, Penny is concerned with the representation of the human body and by using her medical training and focusing on the internal, Penny found a unique way to view the body. Working with a thermal imaging camera Penny photographs her subjects and then creates a thermal imaging style portrait using acrylic on canvas. In this exhibition, Penny wishes to portray her subjects in an alternative way but to translate as accurately as possible their incredible athletic commitment.

One of Pennys recent and most memorable subjects was Rowings Olympian of the year 2011 and Olympic Gold medallist: Mark Hunter MBE. Mark Hunter began rowing at the age of 14 when he was introduced to the sport by his father. Since, Mark has gone on to become one of Britains most high profile rowers with a Gold medal at the Beijing Olympics and a recent gold at the World Championships, with his rowing partner Zac Purchase.

Mark was awarded an MBE in 2009 and is currently in training to represent Great Britain in Londons 2012 Olympic Games. Penny was first introduced to Mark at the Henley Royal Regatta 2011, where she was invited to exhibit among a few selected artists, at the exclusive Leander Club. The artist and athlete met when Mark stopped to admire Pennys artwork and it was there on the banks of the river, during the Regatta, that the idea of a portrait collaboration was born. Penny states, It was an honour to work with Mark Hunter: it was an amazing experience to watch him rowing and to find out more about the athlete and his sport. He was so generous with his time and I sincerely hope my painting does this inspirational Olympian justice.

Nick Cole, Head of Olympic and Paralympic planning at Heathrow said: “With the Games just a few months away its great to be able to host an exhibition which celebrates extraordinary Olympians past and present. As the Host Airport for London 2012 we are proud to play our part in raising peoples anticipation ahead of the Games and we are always looking for ways to excite passengers and give them an immediate taste of British sport and culture. We hope that passengers enjoy these paintings and feel inspired by Pennys fantastic work.”

Pennys portrait of Mark Hunter MBE together with her other Olympic portraits can be seen in Heathows Terminal 5 Expo Fine Art Gallery from 11th to 21st June 2012.

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