One-off, artist’s dream
Warbirds and Wheels’ important commission
Former rally car engineer Julian Ford, of Queenstown, swapped mechanics for art after his former employer, the famous New Zealand rally driver Possum Bourne, passed away.
Now the well-known painter of cars, bikes and all things motorised has been commissioned by Warbirds and Wheels in Wanaka to do one of his most important vehicle portraits to date: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Ford returned to drawing after Bourne died in an accident on the Snow Farm Rd in 2003 before taking up painting about two years ago.
His residency will help raise funds for the Upper Clutha Children’s Medical Trust.
The exclusive one-off painting of GEN11 will be auctioned on TradeMe in May.
Ford has donated his time and will also offer insight and advice to budding artists and speak with the general public about his work.
Warbirds and Wheels general manager Naomi Lindsay said the residency programme was designed to appeal to a different market.
‘‘Warbirds & Wheels is wellknown for our classic cars and Warbirds. However, we also have an art string to our bow. As well as the RealArt Roadshow in-house and Wanaka Wearable Arts exhibit, we currently have the largest collection of Grahame Sydney artwork.
‘‘Having Julian as artist-inresidence for the week is a great opportunity for us to marry our love of cars with art and we’re confident it will appeal to locals and visitors alike. We’re also working with local schools and art groups on ways to expand the reach of the week even further,’’ Lindsay said.
Ford said to work on Chitty was a ‘‘huge honour’’.
‘‘I was very lucky to be one of a great team that worked for the late Kiwi rally driver Possum Bourne. Sadly it all came to a tragic end after Possum passed away,’’ Ford said. ‘‘Now I am painting and loving it. I get great pleasure in seeing a painting come to reality. The opportunity to sit in residence at Warbirds and Wheels for one whole week and focus on nothing but art is another dream come true.’’