03/09/2012 09:55 BST | Updated 03/11/2012 05:12 GMT

'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius' Portrait, By Natalie Holland

It's been a mixed paralympics for South African running star Oscar Pistorius.

He entered the games as one of its most recognised and revered figures, and in qualifying for the 200m final on Saturday, set a new world record - an acheivement probably only bettered by his honourary spot in the Beano.

But then it all went wrong. He was beaten in the final by Alan Oliveira, before launching an ill-timed claim that the race was unfair because of the length of his opponent's artificial legs.


Before the games, artist Natalie Holland was the first to get the opportunity to paint a portrait of the athelete, and recalls being impressed by the man they call Blade Runner.

"When Oscar agreed to model for the portrait and I met him for the first time, I was completely taken by his personality. In his everyday attire he was an attractive, open and perhaps humble man who talked about the things that mattered to him - his family, his friends, and the music he likes; however, the moment he changed into his running gear and blades he transformed - now focused, driven, he appeared somehow superhuman.

"That moment of transformation stayed with me and inspired my portrait of him - this special moment where the everyday is left behind - prosthetics, clothes, personality - and the superhuman takes over - he can already see where he is going and knows that he will win.

"The portrait was painted at the point when Oscar had just been given permission to run against full bodied athletes, but he was yet to qualify. The inclusion of the Olympic logo in the painting was a symbol of his goals - a race yet to run - not a mark of achievement."

What do you think of the portrait?