Turner Prize-nominated artist Tracey Emin today (April 3) unveiled British Airways’ celebratory aircraft ‘The Dove’ in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics. The artwork is intended to transform the aircraft into the bird of peace, and was created by up and coming British designer Pascal Anson with mentoring from Emin.
The Dove will be emblazoned across nine A319 aircraft, which are in operation from today, with the first flight bound to Copenhagen. BA says they will be in operation over the next year on routes to and from Europe.
Tracey Emin said: “The first time I saw Pascal’s design it made me smile. The plane is universal. Everyone will understand it. I like the way it brings back the excitement of travel too.”
Pascal, 38 from Shoreham in Brighton, was inspired by the idea that an aircraft can often look like a bird when in flight. Doves are internationally recognised as a symbol of peace, and were also used in previous Olympic Games’ ceremonies, including the last time London hosted the event in 1948.
Pascal said: “The dove signifies a positive message wherever you go in the world. I also hope it makes people stop, think and look twice. It will be very special to see these aircraft in flight, and I hope that passengers, athletes and VIP’s flying in to the London 2012 Games will be very excited to be on this celebratory aircraft.”
Tracey Emin spent the past year mentoring Pascal, as part of the BA Great Britons Programme, which provided a global platform for up and coming British talent in Food, Art and Film in the run-up to the Games.
His design is all encompassing of the livery, using the cockpit for its beak, the fuselage and wings for its main body and wings, and the tailfin as its tail. The aircraft is primarily white with gold strokes of paint used to represent the feathers. The shade of paint took four months to develop exclusively for the project, and has been named ‘Golden Dove’ by its creators. It took a team of 24 people eight days (950 hours) to apply the scheme.
Photo: (Geoff Lee / British Airways)