For our Spring Exhibition at the Old Fire Station Henley, we invite RGA Artists to submit work on a theme inspired by someone who became synonymous with the area.
George Harrison lived in Friar Park in Henley (just up from the Old Fire Station) for thirty years, until his death in 2001. Many of George’s solo albums were recorded in the studios he established at Friar Park, and its gardens featured famously on the cover of his ‘All Things Must Pass’ triple LP.
But George Harrison offers a much deeper vein of potential inspiration than just his music. Many may be aware of his interest in Indian music and spirituality, but did you know George helped establish a home in the UK for the Hare Krishna movement?
Also, long before Live-Aid, Comic Relief, and other such celebrity-driven charity events, George (along with Ravi Shankar) organised ‘Concert for Bangladesh’, a pair of benefit concerts to raise international awareness, and fund relief, for refugees from the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
In 1978 George became a Film Producer when he co-founded HandMade Films, and mortgaged Friar Park as collateral for ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian’ when EMI withdrew funding. George insisted he just wanted to see the film, which caused Eric Idle to quip it was “the most anybody’s ever paid for a cinema ticket in history”. Amongst other films produced by HandMade Films is the cult classic ‘Withnail and I’.
Slightly incongruous with George’s spiritual side, his love of nature, and growing interest in Landscape Gardening, was his flirtation with the Formula 1 World Championship, embodied in his 1979 single ‘Faster’, and friendships with Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda.
So, you see, there are plenty of strands to explore when it comes to George Harrison! We look forward to receiving your interpretations on the theme in your submissions.
p.s. He also used to be in a band that you may have heard of… and we don’t mean The Travelling Wilburys!