As Silverstone prepares to host the next round of the ‘eni FIM Superbike World Championship’ (03-05 August), the Northamptonshire circuit has teamed up with British rider Leon Haslam for a ‘revealing’ preview activity with a difference. Currently sixth overall in the highly competitive series, Haslam was patience-personified ahead of his home race, as he sportingly agreed to strip down to the waist and have his BMW Motorrad Motorsport team leathers painted onto his torso and arms by double World Body Painting Champion, Carolyn Roper.
It took Carolyn over three hours to replicate Haslam’s leathers on his upper-body, but the end result was quite spectacular and well worth the wait. Carolyn’s unique style and attention to detail has firmly established her as one of the World’s leading body painters. By the time she had finished, it was practically impossible to distinguish where Haslam’s leathers stopped and the body paint started. Even Leon agreed that it had been three hours well spent standing still!
But applying the paint was only half of the story. Haslam then joined one of the UK’s leading portrait photographers, Gary Prior, for a photo shoot in one of the Silverstone garages.
Prior has photographed some of the biggest names in sport, ranging from David Beckham, Lionel Messi and Jonny Wilkinson to Andy Murray, Jenson Button and Maria Sharapova. His latest work with Silverstone featured two more sporting greats, in Haslam and a BMW S 1000 RR supersport bike.
Gary was tasked with translating the remarkable effect of Roper’s body painting into stylish portrait pictures. His creativity, imagination and effective use of lighting were essential in capturing a unique and striking set of pictures.
Speaking about his body painting experience, Haslam said: “It was frustrating having to stand in one place for three hours and not see what was going on, but I couldn’t believe it when Carolyn had finished applying the paint and I was finally allowed to look in the mirror. The body paint was unbelievably realistic and the attention to detail, right down to the sponsors’ badges, was incredible. Carolyn is amazingly talented.
“It wasn’t raining so we walked over to the garage for the photo shoot with Gary; we got some pretty funny looks on the way over. The shoot was good fun though; and Gary’s images are fantastic. All-in-all, it was a great experience. I’m always up for trying new things, so was more than happy to say ‘yes’ when Silverstone approached me with the idea.”
Click here to view a time-lapse film of Leon’s BMW Motorrad Motorsport leathers being painted onto his body: Leon Haslam Time Lapse
Looking ahead to the forthcoming World Superbike round at Silverstone, Leon added: “I’m really looking forward to Silverstone. It’s a fast and flowing circuit and a great place to race - there are plenty of opportunities to overtake. There was some really close racing last year and the Brits tend to do well at Silverstone. I finished on the podium a couple of years ago - it’s always special to race in front of your home crowd and I’ll be pushing hard to get back up there again this year.”
For more images visit our Flickr page: Leon Haslam Body Painting
Advance tickets for Silverstone’s round of World Superbikes start from just £15. For further information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.silverstone.co.uk or call 0844 3728 260.
To purchase Paddock and / or Pit Walk Passes, available from £10 in advance, call 0844 3728 260.
Children aged 15 years and under go free*.
* Child tickets are for children aged 15 years and under at the time of the Event. Children using a child ticket must be accompanied by a full paying adult. Each full paying adult may bring up to a maximum of four children.
After graduating in 2004, Carolyn founded ‘Getmadeup’ to provide make-up and body painting services to the entertainment, music and fashion industries: www.getmadeup.com
Carolyn has won major industry awards and is a double World Body Painting Champion, winning the title in 2007 and 2009. She was also The Body Artist of Year 2010
Carolyn’s client list includes the BBC, SKY TV, MTV, the NHS, Coca Cola, Ford Motor Co. Panasonic, Twentieth Century Fox, Vodafone and Warner Bros
Carolyn is based in London, but is available for international assignments. She has worked with clients in New York, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Cape Town, South Korea, Paris, Rome and numerous other European cities
Gary Prior has been photographing the biggest names in sport for over 20 years, working closely with the highest profile brands and agencies in the field
Gary established VISIONHAUS with fellow photographer Ben Radford: www.visionhaus.co.uk
VISIONHAUS offers an accessible team of highly respected, talented and motivated photographers
The team has more than 20 years’ experience covering world class sporting events, including: 12 Wimbledon Tennis Championships, 6 FIFA Football World Cups, 6 summer and winter Olympic games and 33 Test cricket series