AboutA LIFE-SIZE bronze of iconic rock 'n' roller Jimi Hendrix will soon take pride of place at Dimbola Lodge, Freshwater, Isle of Wight.
The statue will bring the American guitarist within a stone's throw of the site of the first Isle of Wight pop festival, where he gave one of his last performances before his untimely death in 1970.
Solo, promoters of the current Nokia IW Festival, are behind the statue idea are using their extensive music contacts to organise a famous musician to officially unveil it in May.
Dimbola, former home of pioneering Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, is seen by Solo — now trustees of the Freshwater museum — as the ideal location for the statue. "As Dimbola patrons we hope this will create more interest in the area's cultural and literary heritage. Hendrix is as important culturally as Tennyson in his own way," said Solo's Lindsay Weatherston.
Poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, a friend of Cameron, was one of the many cultural figures sharing an association with Dimbola. Others included evolutionist Charles Darwin and scientific genius Sir John Herschel. However, other artists who changed the musical landscape were also associated with Cameron. Among those were composer Arthur Gilbert, of Gilbert and Sullivan fame, and Charles Groves who compiled an early and famous dictionary of musicians. Both were considered musical radicals of their time.
Cameron was also famed for her pictures of bohemians of the age.
Dimbola chairman Dr Brian Hinton said: "Cameron also pushed the range of a camera, just as Hendrix did with his guitar. Together they pushed the boundaries in their respective fields."I am sure in years to come, people will look back on Jimi Hendrix as being just as relevant to cultural history as Julia Margaret Cameron. Both were cultural pioneers."
Dimbola also hosts a permanent exhibition to the IW festivals and visitors have included Faithless, among the best-received performers at last year's event. For more information Tel. (01983) 756814 www.dimbolalodge.co.uk