This extraordinary exhibition allows fans to get as close as they can to understanding the singer through the items that he collected throughout his life.
If you are a Freddie Mercury fan, then there is no doubting that you need to get yourself along to Sotheby’s to catch this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see many of his personal belongings up close, before they are auctioned off next month.
From his extraordinary collection of Japanese art and antiques to the clothes he would wear from day-to-day all the way through to even his kitchen, Freddie Mercury had an eye for style and every object that you lay your eyes on in this free exhibition offers another clue to his passions and you leave feeling privileged that you got to see it all so up close.
But full credit should also be given to those who have helped ensure that everything is laid out so perfectly that it feels as though you are wondering around his home Garden Lodge, from his conservatory to his sitting room it has all been laid out with particular attention to detail.
Fans will take particular joy in seeing his handwritten lyrics to songs such as ‘Somebody to Love’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, the extraordinary amount of gold and platinum discs that chart just how extraordinary his career was as well as the beautiful baby grand piano that he used to compose ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Barcelona’. Each aspect of his life has been given enough room to breathe (although given how popular this exhibition is sometimes it can feel a little cramped – particularly in the early rooms) to give a depth of understanding of how the singer chose to live his life away from the public eye.
His art collection is truly extraordinary- he collected some truly beautiful pieces, including James Tissot’s portrait of Mrs Kathleen Newton, a series of works by Salvador Dali titled The Mythology as well as a number of Japanese prints. It is clear by viewing the artwork he had a real eye for art.
Elsewhere, it is also all the little objects that he collected as well as photographs that are dotted around the place that give it a little personal touch (particularly the ones which show Freddie posing with his cats bring a smile to people’s faces), as well as seeing the clothes from his personal wardrobe (including his dazzling array of kimonos) alongside many of the outfits he would famously wear on stage. In this regard, this particular room feels slightly empty and more could have been made more of. However, this is a minor complaint in what is a well executed exhibition.
This is a real treat from start to finish and well worth catching while you can as who knows when you will get to see so many his personal possessions in one place again.
By Emma Clarendon
For more information about the exhibition visit: https://www.sothebys.com/en/series/freddie-mercury-a-world-of-his-own