Henry Fraser believes a golden Olympic summer will be the perfect way for Brits to reunite and celebrate after a gruelling year of coronavirus restrictions.
Chipperfield’s Fraser has forged a successful career as a mouth artist after being paralysed from the neck down in a freak accident on a Portuguese beach in 2009.
The former Saracens academy star rediscovered his boyhood passion for art and has spent the last 12 years making social media waves through his innovative designs – all painted with a mouth stick.
Fraser has now been commissioned by Purplebricks – the official estate agent of Team GB – to create a unique piece of artwork ahead of the Tokyo Games and reckons the unique Olympic spirit can heal the wounds of a sustained period apart.
“The Olympics really bring people together,” said the 28-year-old, whose artwork is part of Purplebricks’ ‘Home Support’ campaign which champions the importance of the nation getting behind Team GB in Tokyo.
“Whether you like sport or not, you see people get involved, get behind the team and enjoy the wide range of sports. That’s what is so great about the Olympics.
“As someone from a very sporty household, the Olympics were a big part of that. To be part of that in some minor little way is cool.
“People won’t be able to travel over there and there won’t be the same overseas support. So support from home, is obviously going to be far more important.
“I think Team GB will definitely have a lot of support from home. It’s one of the things that we do so well in this country.
“Hopefully, once the athletes are out there, people will be sharing positive messages, supporting them and getting behind them.
“Get on social media and send positive messages to Team GB. It will be something we can do together – and we haven’t been able to do much together in the past ten months.
“Hopefully it’s the one thing we can all enjoy, come together and be at one for again.”
Purplebricks is encouraging people to keep the home fires of support burning with the intensity of London 2012.
And the UK’s largest estate agent have commissioned Fraser, boxer Joe Joyce and former triathlete Vanessa Raw to create unique pieces of artwork ahead of this summer.
The three artists were all chosen because of their roles as elite sportspeople and their ability to create eye-catching works that epitomise the spirit of British support.
Four-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny is one of the faces of the campaign and Fraser, a self-confessed Games obsessive after growing up with brothers Tom, Will and Dom, has harnessed the image of the Olympic torch as the inspiration for his piece.
The Hertfordshire painter relished the challenge of producing something different and wants his striking gold design to catapult the Games into the public discourse.
“Hopefully, the images that Vanessa, Joe and I have created will be shared and people will get behind the campaign,” added Fraser, who lives with parents Andrew and Francesca and whose finished artwork will be made available to the public and feature on limited edition prints – and Purplebricks For Sale sign boards – up and down the country.
“Hopefully, [my torch] might be the start of lighting the fire – of people starting to think about the Olympics.
“It was exciting, because it was going to challenge me and is not the kind of thing I would normally paint.
“Projects like this hopefully get people thinking more about the Olympics and get people more excited.
“Rather than thinking ‘oh, we can’t be there or go there’, it will be: ‘we can still watch it, still be a part of it in our own way and still support the team’.”
Purplebricks is the UK’s technology-led estate agent and offers customers a transparent and convenient way to buy, sell, or let. Purplebricks gives customers the combined support of Local Property Experts, an online platform and a central customer service team. More information can be found at www.purplebricks.co.uk