LONDON.- Since 1960, when he won gold in Rome, to 1996 when he managed with shaking hands to light the Olympic Cauldron in Atlanta, he has been a symbol of all that is inspirational and heroic about the event In 2012, to mark Ali’s 70th birthday, a major exhibition is being held at Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery, overlooking the London 2012 Olympic stadium. Photographs and paintings of Ali at different stages of his life are being shown alongside audio and video installations, poetry and memorabilia, recording not just his contribution to sport but also his extraordinary humanitarian work through the decades.
The opening private view brought together some of the greats of British boxing over the last 25 years. They included Duke McKenzie, Dave “Boy” Green, Colin McMillan and Prince Rodney, to name but a few. Other Olympic boxing teams as well as many celebrities will also be invited, including representatives of Amnesty International and Parkinson’s research.
Ali’s brother, Rahaman Ali, flew in from the United States to officially open the private view. The exhibition organizers and sponsors are teaming up with ex-boxers Oliver Wilson (British Light Middle, Middleweight and Henry Cooper Golden Belt Champion) and Rod Douglas (Commonwealth gold medalist, 4 time ABAE Champion and Olympian) to deliver “The Muhammad Ali Outreach Programme”, which will work with deserving young boxers from Holland and England.
Together with Rahaman Ali and young people from the local community, they will present a non-contact boxing extravaganza at the Private View on the 19th July and in Guildford on 20th. All artworks at the “In the Rings with Ali” exhibition is for sale and a percentage of the profits will be donated to Amnesty International, Parkinson’s Research, and to a local boxing club in East London.
Three times world heavyweight champion, self-proclaimed “The Greatest”, Muhammad Ali was never less than entertaining as a fighter. There were his pre-fight insults to opponents delivered in rhyming couplets, his unorthodox fighting style – which he described as “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” – and his homespun, inspirational views on life.
For the last 25 years, despite suffering increasing physical disability associated with Parkinson’s Syndrome, Ali has worked tirelessly for the humanitarian causes he believes in, including relief of poverty, education, adoption, race relations, and encouraging people of all races to understand and respect each other.More Information: Art Daily