This painting is based on a short sequence within Roman Polanski’s documentary film ‘Weekend of a Champion’. This follows racing driver Jackie Stewart over the course of a weekend as he prepares for and wins the Monaco Grand Prix in 1971.
The sequence is in a hotel room and shows Stewart getting ready before the race. In the room too is Jackie Stewart’s wife, Helen, Polanski himself, and Nina Rindt, whose husband Joachim Rindt had died in a crash a year previously.
I have no real interest in cars and none in Formula One racing driving but there is something utterly compelling about these 10 minutes or so which in many ways are the least dramatic and important in the film. Rindt is utterly still, frozen, a very strange and beautiful presence.
I watched the sequence over and over then made the painting from a memory of this. What then naturally happened was a condensing and altering of the scene into a single image, so this exact arrangement never appears at all (and of course the cinematic format is landscape rather than portrait).