About this artwork

This highly unusual portrait sculpture is a re-creation in crystal glass of one of the tailor-made racing helmets worn by Susie Wolff during her career in Formula 1.

Born in 1982, Wolff moved into F1 in 2012 as a team development driver for Williams, before promotion to test driver for the 2015 season. At the British Grand Prix in 2014, she became the first woman to take part in a F1 race in twenty-two years. After her retirement in 2015 she co-founded the Dare to be Different initiative, which helps to inspire and develop women who work in, or wish to work in motor sports. She was awarded an MBE for her services to Women in Sport in 2017.

To create the work, Palmer worked with a team of glass blowers in Stourbridge near Birmingham. The result is a delicate object, the fragility of which reminds us of the vulnerability and bravery of drivers like Susie, as they take extraordinary risks in pursuit of ever-faster speeds. On meeting Susie Wolff she said:

'Her goal was not to be the best female driver in the world, but to be the best driver in the world...Susie’s helmet played a significant role in bestowing her equal status as a driver: once her helmet was on, no-one knew if she was male or female.'

Angela Palmer

Angela Palmer