Maria Holland Meets the Williams Family

Maria Holland Meets the Williams Family marketplace: motorsport and car enthusiasts product category

Expect the Unexpected?

The name Maria Holland may seem familiar to our patrons. Maria was one of the GPBox’s first sellers and is responsible for the creation of awesome and original pieces of motorsports art under the alias F1 ART BY MARIA H . Being a fan of the Williams Formula 1 racing team, she got in touch with Claire Williams last year and sent her a painting (pictured below) hoping that the painting could adorn the walls at their HQ or maybe a staff canteen.

Picture credit: Maria Holland

Turns out, Claire liked the painting so much that she decided to hang it in her office. This year again, Maria e-mailed Claire with a request asking if she would be okay with signing a new painting if it was brought down to her. Long story short, one thing led to another and a happy Maria was soon arranging a meeting with her PA.

As with most companies, she had expected it to be a simple pick up and drop operation with someone from Williams coming over to take the painting, having it signed and delivering it to her but was pleasantly surprised when Williams sent over the pleasantly cheerful Mr Lars to pick up both her and the painting.

"Inherently, we at Williams just want to win races. We love going motor racing, we have a real passion for it and that never diminishes."

Claire Williams

Back to the mothership!

After being escorted to the paddock, Maria was then treated to a tour around the facility coincidentally during an ad-hoc press conference involving some of the drivers. The tour ended with her making her way to the Williams area, eager to meet Claire as in the meanwhile her painting was beginning to draw the attention and compliments of Williams’ staff. It was there she met somebody that she adored, the W series winner and rising star, Jamie Chadwick. Jamie was more than happy to pose for a photograph and give out an autograph. She also seemed to be quite taken by the painting, so much so that she asked Maria if she’d do one of her. No points for guessing what her answer was! 

Picture credit: Maria Holland

As she chatted with Jamie, she noticed Sir Frank wheeling his way into the room and that her trolley was in his path. Reacting quickly and trying to move it out of the way only made things worse when it got tangled up around the table. Luckily, no harm was done, and everybody involved in the fiasco shared a good laugh about the events that had transpired. Frank had to make his way to his private office and Maria was soon greeted by Ollie, his personal assistant, who escorted her to his office as he wanted to look at the painting. After the exchange of pleasantries and a brief chat, Maria couldn’t believe it when Frank asked her if she would like a photograph with him, a “pinch me, I must be dreaming” moment indeed.

Picture credit: Maria Holland

The two of them were soon joined by Claire who emerged from her office. Claire, who Maria felt was a lovely lady, was a joyous person who chatting with was a pleasure and sharing a cherished moment of banter about how difficult finding the right shade of Williams blue was. Maria was happy to accept Claire’s request of doing another painting when the team were back in the fight and as a token of appreciation, painted for her a blue-shade dominated watercolour work of a butterfly on a flower. Claire was visibly touched by the art as the butterflies reminded her of her mother since they were her favourite things and then proceeded to sign the painting along with a copy of her mother’s book.

Picture credit: Maria Holland

The entire experience left Maria feeling like she was on cloud 9. After being a Williams fan for over 20 years, not only had she met Claire and Frank, she was left with memories that she would cherish forever. Unbelievable.

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