Unveiled each year at a private party on the eve of the Festival, the first public viewing of the iconic sculpture marks the official opening of the Festival weekend.
‘I’ve been producing a sculpture for the Celebrated Marque at Goodwood for the last 19 years,’ says Gerry. ‘Every year I like to think of something that is very different to anything we’ve done before. Indeed, the hardest thing about designing these sculptures is trying to avoid any similarity, any conceptual connection, with anything I’ve done before.’
BMW’s Centenary piece is Gerry’s 20th sculpture for the Festival of Speed and his resolute determination to push the boundaries of what is possible never ceases to amaze. Gerry says of his work at Goodwood: ‘The critical thing for these pieces is that they have to be iconic. Coco Chanel said: “I don’t do anything innovative; I want to make something that’s classic.” Everything I do I try and make it so that it’s classic: different, unique, but classic.’
Gerry’s work at FoS has become the symbol of the Festival for the 200,000 strong crowd, and has varied from the rustic steel framework of the Land Rover sculpture in 2008, to the beautiful reconstructed Jaguar E-Type model made from 174 tonnes of steel tubes and reminiscent of a vast church organ in 2011, and last year’s twisting, Japanese-inspired Mazda celebration, which towered high above Goodwood House. Each piece takes eight months from conception to build, and the Sculptures are now Europe’s biggest regularly commissioned installations.
Each year the exact design of the Central Feature is a closely guarded secret, and Gerry isn’t giving much away about his plans for this year, but he did say: “the sculpture, displaying three iconic BMW race cars, will stretch well outside its boundaries, soaring over us and into the sky”.
Goodwood presents a short film in celebration of Gerry’s work and a glorious look back at the motorsport milestones he has immortalised on the turning circle across the years: