Queen superstar Brian May opens art exhibition in a disused phonebox
Guitar legend Brian May must have visited some small venues in the early days of the Queen's rise to stardom, but it's safe to say none came close to the Gallery on the Green. The tiny art gallery is housed in a decommissioned phonebox on Settle's village green in North Yorkshire.
The community of Settle bought the phonebox for £1 as part of BT's Adopt a Kiosk campaign and it's now one of the quirkiest art galleries in the country – and possibly the smallest in the world.
The phonebox had been part of the market town of Settle for over 50 years before being turned into a fantastic mini art gallery. Brian was one of the big names behind the project due to his passion for photography. He recently exhibited some of his beloved stereoscopic photographs at the gallery, bringing some Bohemian Rhapsody to village and community life.
Gallery curator Roger Taylor (not the one in Queen!) has also exhibited postcards, poetry, paintings and even fabric pictures. The next instalment will feature drawings by African village children, created especially for the phonebox after a Settle villager's trip to East Africa.
This vast cultural element, and of course backing from a rock legend, has really helped to bring the project to life as well as attracting national media attention. Commissions for the gallery are now booked up until after summer 2012, from contributors far and wide.
"The Gallery on the Green project has given the people of Settle a real sense of community and joy, and also helped to put our town of 4,000 people on the map," says Roger. "To have Brian behind our project was a real boost and we were bursting with pride when he came to officially open the exhibition, and his lecture packed out our small village theatre.
"The effect on the local community's economy has been significant, with local holiday rentals and B&Bs even referencing the gallery on their websites as one of Settle's latest attractions."