Fancy Freddie over your fireplace?

The Berkeley Gallery, based in Berkhamsted, has a number of pieces by artist Ben Riley – who uses only vinyl records, whether they’re broken up or ground down to dust, in the creation of his large-scale portraits of recording artists ranging from Sinatra to Morrisey and well beyond in either direction.

sinatra morrissey

Ol’ Blue Eyes — and some grumpy git from Manchester

Paul Rozelaar, the gallery’s owner and a big admirer of Riley’s work himself, has donated Riley’s original piece ‘Embraceable You’ – a stunning image of Freddie Mercury in one of his most iconic poses – to be auctioned this weekend to raise money for charity.

freddie mercury 1
Given that poor old Freddie isn’t here to sign it, Paul persuaded his former band-mate Brian May – him of the big hair and commitment to badgers – to pop his autograph on the back instead.  And a photo of May in the act will be popped in along with the picture itself.

brian may

Mr May himself, popping his moniker on the back


Bidding should be fierce, and the very worthy charities that will benefit are Macmillan Cancer Support and ‘Above and Beyond,’ which supports the Bristol Oncology Centre.  The auction itself is taking place in Wiltshire – but you can place your bid in advance through the gallery if you fancy popping Freddie over the fireplace yourself.  You’d be in good company – apparently Robbie Williams is snapping up Rileys already, as are some other high profile collectors.

ben riley

Ben Riley — a record breaker if ever there was one…

Fancy a bid?  Email Paul at The Berkeley Gallery.


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hertfordshire