Dimbola Museum and Galleries at Freshwater launched a major exhibition featuring the musician and actor David Bowie last Friday (7th June).
Entitled ‘Iconic Bowie’, the main gallery features two dozen photographic examples of the work of Kevin Cummins, Terry O’Neill, Justin de Villeneuve, Markus Klinko and Gerald Fearnley. Coincidentally Terry O’Neill was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, announced the next day.
This exhibition spans the years 1967 to 2002.
In the adjoining gallery memorabilia and recent works of art connected to Bowie can be viewed.
In the summer of 1965 Bowie and his band performed at Ventnor Winter Gardens. He performed under his real name and as a support act, Davy Jones and the Lower Third. He stayed at Medina House Hotel off Alma Road, Ventnor and he and the band’s equipment was transported by Robbie Mew of Mew the Movers in the removal lorry.
A photocopy of the hotel’s Visitors Book chronicles Bowie’s stay in Ventnor. Also featured is an original ticket for the 2004 Nokia IW Festival where he performed.
A 2016 sculpture in nickel plated aluminium entitled ‘Starman’ is by Guy Portelli (pictured above) who has two other works of art featuring Jeff Beck and Frankie Miller at Dimbola.
Giving a talk in Julia’s Pantry, Guy described Dimbola as a treasure which is worth supporting saying it is a special place which is on the International Map. His latest project is creating a piece of work covered in the handprints of those who have performed at the IW festivals over the years.
Kevin Cummins chronicled his association with David Bowie saying he had photographed the artiste over the years maintaining that by positioning yourself to take the best shot was imperative. His early photographs were primarily taken purely for himself he admitted, but a mutual respect between artiste and photographer was very important he believed, and this provided some really good shots.
David Bowie (real name David Robert Hayward Jones) was born in Brixton on the 8th January 1947. As a result of a playground incident one of his blue eyes turned green. He died on the 10th January 2016 in New York.
‘Iconic Bowie’ will be staged at Dimbola until 18th August 2019.
Report by Alan and Suzanne Whitewood. Photos by Graham Reading Photography.