Artist wraps Olympic stadium in colour

A London-based artist has been given the honour of wrapping the London 2012 stadium in Olympic colours.

Sophie Smallhorn's colour installation will welcome visitors staying at central London hotels to the main Olympic venue and will reflect all of the nations taking part in the Games by showcasing the colour of each country's flag.

Commissioned by the stadium designers Populous in 2008, Smallhorn has made use of special canvas banners to create 300 doorways in 56 different colours.

"For me, colour is an international language, understood by all on many levels. To be given the opportunity to breathe colour into this iconic Olympic building and to influence how people might approach and interact with it has been truly inspiring," explained the artist.

Smallhorn originally studied furniture design at Brighton University in the early 90s but has since developed an interest in sculpture and has designed a number of large and small scale installations, but her latest Olympic piece is her largest and most public yet.

The unique £7 million decoration will be revealed to the public on Friday at the opening ceremony of the Games when 60,000 people will enter the stadium to see the lighting of the Olympic flame.

A recent study by Lloyds Banking Group estimates that London 2012 could bring in an extra £16.5 billion by 2017 and play a key part in creating 62,200 jobs.

It is also estimated that the building of the Olympic Park has contributed £2.3 billion to the economy already and the remaining main venues will account for a further £1.3 billion.

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