Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has revealed the details of a very special commission with renowned photographer Rankin as part of the 100th anniversary of the Spirit of Ecstasy, which is the figurine famous for its defining and prominent position on the bonnet of each Rolls-Royce unit.
For the next months, Rankin will capture 100 images inspired by the remarkable Rolls-Royce figurine. The company has revealed the first two pictures in the Rankin: Spirit of Ecstasy collection.
Just like Charles Robinson Sykes, who crafted the Spirit of Ecstasy flying lady a hundred years ago, Rankin gets his inspiration from the sensuality and beauty of the feminine form.
Also, Rankin has his inspirational wife and model Tuuli Shipster as his muse for the first of his collection, just as Eleanor Velasco Thornton was rumored to be Sykes’ inspiration for the Spirit of Ecstasy.
Through the commission, Rankin is offered full artistic license to create a very personal and modern interpretation of the legendary Rolls-Royce icon.
The commission is an unprecedented method for a brand like Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and its icon. With Tuuli in silhouette and draped in flowing fabric, the picture has undeniable resonance with the qualities that inspired Sykes a hundred years ago.
The image also captures the mystery of the lady, adding to the intrigue and debate of whether or not Eleanor Thornton was truly the inspiration for the creation of the Spirit of Ecstasy.
It is anticipated that the Rankin: Spirit of Ecstasy collection will develop organically in the next few months. The project would employ a number of themes as Rankin’s study of the Spirit of Ecstasy. Rankin is expected to make good use of power, speed, wind and metallic as well as beauty of age, intrigue and mystery and blend them with materials, paint and fabrics to create a set of carefully selected portraits, each of which speaks a lot about the global appeal of marquee.
The Rankin: Spirit of Ecstasy collection will feature women coming from different ages and cultures, all symbolizing the femininity of the Spirit of Ecstasy. Rankin remarked that the collection is one of his biggest projects, noting that the images will serve as a statement about the modern day Rolls-Royce - fresh, directional and original and at the same time beautiful and inspirational.
He quipped that the portraits will feature different perspectives, including full length and close-up shots that incorporate facial features to reflect a distinct interpretation of the connotations of the Spirit of Ecstasy.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos described Rankin’s portraits as part of contemporary iconography. He quipped that Rankin has a talent for vividly capturing the strength and character of his subjects – making him the ideal photographer to portray the Spirit of Ecstasy into the 21st century.
Throughout 2011, the collection’s original portraits will be displayed at different events across the world. Moreover, Rolls-Royce owners and guests will receive invitations to exclusive private views at Rolls-Royce showrooms in the next few months, the first to be held at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars London on May 10.