For the 50th Anniversary of the iconic Isle of Wight Festival, branded “The Last Great Event” and witnessed by an audience of over 600,000 people from 27-31 August, 1970, Masterpiece Art will present the exhibition Wight Spirit 1968-70.
Centred upon the vision and work of British sculptor Guy Portelli, the exhibition in Holland Park, London, will display sculpture of popular icons connected to the festival’s legacy, alongside photography by Charles Everest. Key to immortalising the festival in pictures, Everest’s unique relationship with the organisers allowed him to capture the magic of the event from behind the scenes.
FURTHERMORE, Portelli will reveal his latest work Wight Spirit, a mosaiced panel featuring the hand prints of musicians who performed from 1968 to 1970.
Begun on the 50th Anniversary of the 1968 IOW festival, Wight Spirit will be completed in time for the same 1970 anniversary, the extensive project taking almost three years to complete. Many legendary performers such as Jefferson Airplane, Free, Pretty Things, The Move, Cactus and others have donated hand prints to the project, for which we are very grateful.
Evocatively and painstakingly bringing together the handprints of 100 musicians and key people connected to IOW 1968-70, the panel is a true homage to the heartbeat of the festival – the hands that brought the musical spirit alive on those days.
Wight Spirit is reserved to become the centrepiece of the Isle of Wight Festival heritage centre. The panel, a curved surface of 9 foot by 5 foot, mosaiced in glass, also references the famous mosaics at nearby Brading Roman Villa on the Isle.