Artists create UK's biggest painting at Twickenham Stadium for rugby restart

The pitch has been transformed into a portrait of three of Premiership Rugby players.

Gallagher Premiership Rugby: artwork features Joe Marler, Maro Itoje and Faf de Klerk
Gallagher Premiership Rugby: artwork features Joe Marler, Maro Itoje and Faf de Klerk

The giant artwork – which Taylor Herring said is the biggest outdoor painting ever created in the UK – features Harlequins prop Joe Marler, Saracens lock Maro Itoje and Sale Sharks scrum-half Faf de Klerk, who won the Rugby World Cup with South Africa.

Gallagher Premiership Rugby briefed Taylor Herring to deliver a campaign to mark the restart of the season and promote awareness among fans after weeks of lockdown.

The activation took more than 100 hours of planning and eight artists spent more than 24 hours completing the pitch portrait using a bespoke computer program to generate the precise measurements required. Taylor Herring worked on the project alongside Premiership Rugby’s in-house communications team.

The image, which occupies most of the 7,000 square-metre pitch, was created using a grid of 13,420 elements, with each painted line in the portrait six inches wide. Nearly 1,280 litres of biodegradable pitch marker paint were used.

Giant pitch portrait of Premiership Rugby stars unveiled at Twickenham to mark long-awaited restart of the season (from Taylor Herring on Vimeo)

In addition to the artistic pitch creation, the agency has produced social-media assets and placed media interviews with key players.

"We are so excited to restart the Gallagher Premiership Rugby season, and it’s been a Herculean effort to get here,” Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs said.

“The pitch portrait is such a spectacular way to celebrate the restart of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby season and let the fans know that rugby is back on our screens again. We won’t take our eyes off the ball when it comes to being safe and secure in the fight against Covid-19, and all precautions are being taken to allow our players to be back doing what they love most – playing rugby.”

A version of this story first appeared on PRWeek.