Icons of Rock: Portrait and Performance

Due to popular demand, the Icons of Rock: Portrait and Performance photographic exhibition which has been on display at Portsmouth Guildhall since January, has now been extended until 27th December with more iconic images added!

Featuring the works of celebrated photographer, Barrie Wentzell, who was Chief Photographer of renowned British music weekly, Melody Maker, in the 1960s and 70s, the free exhibition has been enjoyed by thousands since its opening earlier in the year in what is a rare opportunity for music and photography fans to see such iconic works in the flesh.

And now, photographs of Freddie Mercury, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Viv Stanshall, Jeff Beck, John Sebastian and Sandy Denny are to be added to the extended exhibition which already features the iconic images of Elton John, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Marc Bolan, Pete Townshend, Frank Zappa, Rod Stewart, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and more.

Following a chance encounter with Diana Ross in 1965 which caught the attention of Melody Maker’s Assistant Editor, Bob Houston, Barrie Wentzell went on to spend music’s most important decade photographing the musicians who would become legends and household names including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, The Who and The Kinks. In 1975, Barrie gave up music photography and moved to the Isle of Wight in search of his version of ‘The Good Life’.

The Icons of Rock: Portrait and Performance exhibition was arranged by lifetime fan and follower of Barrie’s work, Nigel Grundy, Curator of the Portsmouth Music Experience at Portsmouth Guildhall and who himself was a music photographer in the 1960s. A souvenir programme to accompany the exhibition, including the new images, will be available to purchase.

Nigel said, “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Barrie on creating and now extending this exhibition and I am delighted that he plans to visit the exhibition in person very soon. Before Barrie joined Melody Maker, music papers used stock photography supplied by record labels, meaning they all tended to carry the same images. Barrie undoubtedly changed the face of music photography, and his congenial personality gave him unrestricted access to artists and bands, allowing him to capture some of the most iconic images of all time.”

Barrie commented, “Before I moved to Toronto, I spent seven years living on the Isle of Wight, so this area of the country holds special memories for me. When Nigel approached me about exhibiting at the Portsmouth Music Experience, it felt like the right time to display some of the most widely recognised images from my time at Melody Maker on their home turf. I hope that people enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed taking them.”

Icons of Rock: Portrait and Performance is free of charge to visit at Portsmouth Guildhall’s Portsmouth Music Experience Exhibition, Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm, until 27th December 2023.Subject to availability, please check exhibitions are open before travelling to the venue at www.portsmouthguildhall.org.uk

© Barrie Wentzell www.barriewentzell.com
© Barrie Wentzell www.barriewentzell.com
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