NGV on Track

To celebrate Foster’s Australian Grand Prix 2003, the NGV is showcasing artist Eamon O’Toole’s life-size artwork: Formula 1: McLaren Honda MP4/4.

Melbourne-based artist Eamon O'Toole has worked for a number of years on a series of sculptural pieces that appear to replicate objects found in the real world. In actual fact, his artworks are painstakingly created in order to resemble the objects to which they pay homage. A base for the artwork is constructed from wire and wood, which is then overlaid with a moulded and sculpted plastic shell. The final surface treatments range from automotive paint, to the application of alloy, silver or gold leaf. Each sculpture is the result of hours of work and numerous patterns are made by the artist to ensure that every detail is correct. Subjects O’Toole has favoured in the past include cars, motorbikes, plants, spanner sets and engine parts.

The car has always been an object of beauty for me. Not just the visual body form, but every working aspect of it - from the nuts and bolts and engine parts right through to how it handles and sounds. Years of tinkering on cars has given me an appreciation for the various components of cars. Components that are built and put together in such perfect harmony that they offer a mesmerising fascination for me that has fuelled my imagination and creativity since childhood. Specifically, cars like Formula 1 racing cars hold a particular interest for me because they epitomise machines that are at their extremes. Plus, I love the noise they make.

Eamon O'Toole


28 Feb 200317 Mar 2003 The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square