x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Zayed University students hope to break world record in longest fine art print

Local art and communications students could be in line for a new world record after an event to mark the start of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Grand Prix.

Fifty Zayed University students rolled tyres covered in paint along a 200-metre canvas in what could be deemed the world’s longest fine-art print. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
Fifty Zayed University students rolled tyres covered in paint along a 200-metre canvas in what could be deemed the world’s longest fine-art print. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National

ABU DHABI // Local arts and communications students could be in line for a world record after an event to mark the start of the Grand Prix.

Zayed University students were joined by official Formula One artist Mark Dickens at the trackside on Wednesday for the attempt.

Fifty students rolled tyres covered in paint along a 200-metre canvas in what could be deemed the world’s longest fine-art print.

The completed work will be displayed around the track at Yas Marina Circuit during race weekend.

“This event was part of our senior project and we are grateful that Yas Marina Circuit gave us this opportunity to basically be practical,” said Deena Al Menhali, an Emirati student who helped to promote Wednesday’s event.

“It was amazing meeting such a great artist and being able to promote the event with him. And of course he was a major help in the project itself.

“It is an amazing opportunity for us students, just being part of something like this.”

Dickens said he had greatly enjoyed the event.

“It has been an absolute pleasure for me to collaborate with Zayed University students in this unique event,” he said. “It is as much their artwork as mine.

“I have been welcomed with open arms by the local community on my return to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and I like to think that this is hopefully the beginning of many such projects working with Yas Marina Circuit and the wider community in combining culture and motorsport.”

Dickens is a British artist who has gained fame across the UAE and Europe.

In 2009 he was commissioned by Abu Dhabi Motor Sport Management to commemorate the opening of the Yas Circuit with 10 paintings featuring each of the 2009 season racing teams.

Photographers documented the giant print after it was completed on Wednesday and footage will be sent to Guinness World Records.

They will assess the attempt and pass a judgment within two weeks as to whether an official record has been set.

“With the 2013 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix set to be bigger, better and more inclusive than ever, this collaboration is a fine example of the sharing of ideas and practices that we welcome over the course of the race weekend,” said Richard Cregan, chief executive of Yas Marina Circuit.

“It is wonderful to see local students able to benefit from the expertise of an internationally renowned artist like Mark.”

The event was part of a wider project in which 20 art students created works inspired by the Abu Dhabi F1 experience.

They will be displayed alongside work by Dickens at the Yas Marina Circuit West Oasis for the race weekend.

“It has been a collaboration that spanned the whole summer,” said David Howard, who teaches graphic design to the students.

“Over this period the whole project has been evolving and two weeks ago the girls submitted their final designs and artwork, be it in photographs, paintings or films.

“For our students it has been a fantastic opportunity, not just to be part of this exciting event, but to have first hand contact with a renowned artist. I am sure they will remember it for a long time to come.

“We try as much as we can to get our students outside the university and get them involved in projects.

“The more opportunities we get for our girls the more their overall learning experience will be enriched.”

ksinclair@thenational.ae