To celebrate Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand, Wellington artist Maurice Bennett has created huge portraits of the men he believes to be the five greatest rugby players of all time.
Using his favoured medium of toast slices, Bennett has produced works depicting Colin Meads, Gareth Edwards, Danie Craven, Jean-Pierre Rives and Richie McCaw.
Each portrait is 2.4 metres by 1.9 metres, contains around 4,000 slices of precisely burned toast and took almost a month to complete.
The protraits will be on show in Wellington as a ‘A Game of Two Halves’ during the rugby tournament.
Well-known for his toast portraits of celebrities including Sir Peter Jackson, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and American President Barack Obama, Bennett said he felt an obligation to mark the largest sporting event this country has ever hosted.
“I am a proud New Zealander with a passion for our national game. I wanted to create unique artworks to showcase the rugby players I consider the greatest of all time. I know it is hard to compare between positions and across eras, but I chose players for their on-field and off-field contributions to the game,” he said.
“I know there will be some controversy over my selections - there always will be with any lists of this nature. I have selected two New Zealanders which probably reflects my patriotism but both picks are hard to argue with.”