Picture perfect setting at Grand Final

02/11/2013 10:02:33
Artist Mark Robinson at Al BAdia Golf Club by InterContinental  (EuropeanTour)
Artist Mark Robinson at Al BAdia Golf Club by InterContinental (EuropeanTour)
Local artist Mark Robinson is combining his two greatest passions by acting as the official ‘artist in residence’ at this week’s Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club.

It is a role he will also take up at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates in two weeks’ time, having been painting scenes from The European Tour’s season-ending finale since the inaugural event in 2009.

A professional portrait painter by trade, Belfast-born Robinson is at Al Badia until the conclusion of the European Challenge Tour’s season finale on Sunday evening, capturing the action as 45 of the Tour’s top players battle it out for one of 15 coveted cards for next season’s European Tour at the conclusion of the event.

Over the years, Robinson has featured many of the great and the good of the modern game, including this season’s Race to Dubai leader and former Grand Final winner Henrik Stenson, 2009 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai and Race to Dubai winner Lee Westwood and last year’s double champion Rory McIlroy.

“I do the DP World Tour Championship every year and Nick Tarratt, the Director of The European Tour Middle East, suggested that I do the Challenge Tour event that’s taking place here this week,” says Robinson. “I just love golf and it’s a beautiful course and a great event so it was something I was delighted to get involved in.

“I start by taking photographs at the beginning of the week and then paint them as landscapes throughout the tournament and also do portraits of the players in action.

“They’re given to sponsors, auctioned at the Gala Dinner or presented to the players themselves.”

Robinson first came to Dubai in 1985 with a theatre company, working as a set designer. Around 2000 he decided to come back to the emirate and started a company doing 3-D graphics before moving into portrait work.

“I studied fine art at college so it was natural for me to begin doing professional portraits,” says Robinson.

 “The original idea for me to get involved with golf tournaments came from my friend, Buddy Morin, a local rules official. He liked my portrait work so he mentioned it to Nick, who asked me to come and do some paintings at the DP World Tour Championship – and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Robinson will have an exhibition of his work on display at the DP World Tour Championship taking place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 14-17.

“I’m very excited about the exhibition, as I get many people asking where they can buy my art,” he says.  Robinson. “This year I’m able to point them towards the Championship Village instead of the Internet!”