Julian Beever, from Melton Mowbray, is working at the Clock Tower on the 3D chalk drawing, which features an Olympic Torchbearer and will mark the start of the London 2012 Games and celebrate the arrival of the Olympic torch in the city.
The street artist, widely known as the ‘Pavement Picasso’, started his dimension-defying masterpiece on Tuesday 26 June and will continue working on the piece from 9am to 5pm until Friday 29 June, when it will finally be unveiled.
Talking about his involvement in the project, Julian Beever said: “I was invited by Leicester City Council to celebrate the passage of the torch in Leicester. I sent them some of my sketches and they chose this one, [where] you can see an Olympic torch bearer shredding a Union Flag. I think this is the best one too.”
The drawer, who has worked in 28 different countries, added: “This is a very special project for me as I was born in England. So you can say ‘pavement artist comes home’.”
Beever is famous across the globe for his ‘anamorphic’ pieces, where drawing is distorted in a way that creates a 3D illusion -like an optical trick- when it is looked from a specific angle.
He usually completes his drawing directly onto the pavement itself, but Leicester City Council, which has commissioned the work, has supplied him with a special plinth inlaid with slabs, so the piece can be easily transported.
Assistant City Mayor, Cllr Piara Singh Clair MBE said: “This is an honour for the city. Julian Beever is world-renowned and we are very lucky to have him create a special piece to help celebrate the Torch arriving in Leicester.
“It is fantastic that we will be preserving this work and creating a lasting legacy at Abbey Park. I am sure lots of people will be excited to see Julian at work in the lead up to the arrival of the Torch.”
The final artwork will be moved permanently to Abbey Park for the Olympic event taking place on Monday 2 July.
A video of Beever working on his piece will be broadcast on the Big Screen in Humberstone Gate at regular intervals during the Olympics and it will also be uploaded on Leicester City Council’s website.