Unfinished Oscar Pistorius portrait by artist who met him on display in Hampstead

Natalie Holland with her portrait in Zebra One Gallery. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Natalie Holland with her portrait in Zebra One Gallery. Picture: Nigel Sutton. - Credit: Nigel Sutton

When the news broke that Olympic icon Oscar Pistorius had shot his girlfriend dead in South Africa, Natalie Holland put down her paint brush in Hampstead.

The Norwegian-born artist, who lives in Arkwright Road, had met Pistorius in Paris before the 2012 Olympics to conduct an interview and photo shoot before painting two portraits of the athlete.

The blade runner then secured Ms Holland tickets to see him run at the London Olympics where he became the first double leg amputee to run in an Olympic race.

She was so inspired by his feat that upon returning to her Hampstead studio she began work on a third and final portrait of Pistorius to mark his triumph.

Her work was halted by the news of Reeva Steenkampf’s death and destined never to see the light of day.

But Ms Holland’s unfinished piece is now on display and for sale in Hampstead’s Zebra One Gallery, in Perrin’s Court.

Ms Holland told the Ham&High: “It has never been shown in a gallery. I was literally working on this painting when I heard the news and I just couldn’t believe it.

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“I abandoned the painting because there was no way I could continue it. I started his head but then the rest isn’t there. It’s like he’s dissolving into nothing.

“It’s sort of a metaphorical image of what he became.”

Pistorius is due to be released from prison in August.

For more information visit www.zebraonegallery.com