Collectors will have the chance to own a unique piece of Formula One history when a ground-breaking exhibition opens at the Dadiani gallery in Mayfair.
‘The Noise’ will feature six sculptures crafted from screaming V-8 engines, evoking memories of the heyday of motor racing before they were replaced by today’s quieter turbo-charged engines. Each one is unique as the Ferrari exhausts, made from Inconel alloy, were only used in one race before being replaced.
The centrepiece of the exhibition, opening on July 14, is a gold-plated set from the Sauber driven by Kamui Kobayashi at the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix when he finished fifth in the iconic race. Another is a hand polished set, slightly damaged after Mexican driver Sergio Perez crashed his Sauber at Monaco in the same year.
For a collector, the sculpture will make an unusual and original feature to brighten up any room and is also a talking point in its own right. Each one has discolouration marks specific to the track on which it was raced, depending on the length of the straights and the frequency of bends – blue in the case of Monaco, because it is one of the hottest tracks.
Inconel is used because of its ability to withstand extreme heat, but the exhaust system has to be replaced after each race because of the risk of failure once it has endured a full heat cycle. However, each one was designed by a team of six to exact specifications. The beauty is in the perfection - every pipe needs to be exactly the same length to the millimetre because each cylinder has exactly the same capacity.
‘The Noise’ harks back to a more romantic racing era characterised by noise, fear and danger – the pieces can be seen as a protest against today’s airbrushed motor racing. Mounted on an Italian Granite base, each one is around one metre tall. They have been collected by Mike O’Connor, owner of Heritage F1, the only company in the UK to buy and sell F1 cars.
The sculptures are expected to sell for £25,000-£30,000 each. They can also be purchased via bitcoin, making Dadiani – known as an innovator - the first fine art gallery in the UK to operate with bitcoin. Alongside the sculptures, the exhibition will also feature an array of evocative memorabilia, including beautiful hand-drawn blueprints of cars dating back to the 1970s, while a 2011 Sauber will be on display outside the gallery on the preview night on July 13.
Mike O’Connor said: “F1 cars are the pinnacle of engineering. Cost is no object in the design. The engineers are the best of the best and have created engineering perfection, just like a great artist creates great art. The story attached to each one is what makes them valuable – we are selling the history”.
Eleesa Dadiani, founder of Dadiani Fine Art, said:
“These pieces challenge our pre-conceptions about what is art. Their form is beautiful even though their function has died. When something dies in its function it is immortalised in its aesthetic form. It still has appeal.
‘It can also be seen as protest art against the disappearance of the noise which made Formula One what it once was. I believe craftsmanship must be at the heart of all great art and these pieces are examples of the finest craftsmanship”.