A Sculpture in wood
Simon O’Rourke set out to create something special, here is the story of his latest project.
Only perfection will do..
This is not the kind of thing one might have expected to hear coming from the lips of one of the best chainsaw artists in the world; but in fact that is exactly why he IS one of the best chainsaw artists in the world, because he never settles on something being ‘finished’ until he has completely scrutinised every single part of the sculpture, sometimes several times over, and then goes back to make those crucial changes that can take a sculpture from amazing and fantastic, to quite simply, phenomenal…
This Welsh Oak bust of legendary Formula One racing car driver, Ayrton Senna da Silva, encapsulates Simon’s passion to want to get it, ‘just right’.
Examining the sculpture carefully, Simon steps back from what I think is the finished piece and says quietly, “I’m not quite happy with it… there’s something not quite right…”
Who am I?
I’m Simon O’Rourke, an artist working out of North Wales.
I produce fine pieces of artwork using waste timber or standing stumps, using a variety of power tools and hand tools. These works of art range from classical sculpture of human and animal form, to abstract work and re-creating logos in wood.
The story behind the Ayrton Senna project..
With it being the 25th anniversary this year of the untimely and tragic death of the inspiration that was, Ayrton, Simon decided he wanted to pay homage to a man that not only took the racing world by storm with his passion, determination and drive, but also the rest of the world, and none so much as his beloved home nation of Brazil where he won his 3rd and final world title in 1991.
Ayrton was passionate about using his fame and monetary success to help the people of his home nation by donating to many charitable causes and particularly focussed on helping charities that helped children.
After sourcing the right piece of Oak for the sculpture from a local farmer, Simon does copious amounts of research about Senna, finding what he felt were the right images that captured Ayrton’s enigmatic yet playful character.
“I really wanted to capture his expression,” says Simon. He always looked so thoughtful, but with this little twinkle in his eye, I really wanted to bring that across.”
After watching the film made about Senna’s life, Simon is able to make those final ‘tweaks’ to the sculpture and is happy with the finished piece.
I love the fact that such a potentially destructive tool can be used to create beauty