A summertime music and arts festival may not be your usual venue for selling art, but then the annual Henley Festival in Henley-on-Thames isn’t your usual festival.
While the principal players in the festival, which ended July 10, were the musicians and comedians taking the stage, from Tom Jones to Boney M, a slew of contemporary art installations were scattered across the site of the black-tie event at the Leander Club, one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world.
The tony festival was established in 1982 as a charity for the local community, and to boost local businesses and artists, which has become ever more important following the pandemic.
The visual arts program for the 40th anniversary was curated by the Hollandridge Group art consultancy and included seven galleries, 114 artists, and 10 outdoor sculptures. Participating galleries included Jenna Burlingham Gallery, Panther and Hall, and Zuleika Gallery, showing works by early Modern British names such as Edward Seago (showing with Panther and Hall, with a work priced at £12,759); contemporary names like Damien Hirst and Chris Levine (at Drang Gallery for £19,960 and £89,000); and sculptors Paul Vanstone and Johannes von Stumm (whose works were for sale at £72,000).
“The atmosphere at Henley Festival has been electric, second to none this year,” Alex Hammersley, director at Hollandridge, told Artnet News. “It’s a hugely well-attended festival of over 30,000, that attracts a well-heeled, cultured, and intelligent audience who enjoy all aspects of the arts, many of whom are time poor but who love looking and buying art in a relaxed and informal way.”
Check out some images from the event below.