This edition of 20 signed silk-screen prints is one of 4 different editions Chris Gollon made as studies for a major museum commission. In 2007, the award-winning River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames, commissioned him to paint the Henley Royal Regatta, and he was given a rare "Silver Pass", which allowed him into every enclosure, including the press box and stewards' enclosure. Gollon observed the three days of competitive rowing and took hundreds of photographs, which he later used as a guide for the studies for the main painting for the museum, as well as the studies on paper, canvas and these silk-screen editions. This edition has museum provenance, since no. 1/20 from the edition is in the permanent collection of the award-winning River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames, alongside works by Roaul Dufy, Justin Mortimer and John Piper.
At the Henley Royal Regatta, one of Britains' great sporting and social events, there are no Gold, Silver or Bronze medals: only winners and losers. Chris Gollon also saw that the body language of the losing rowers was so different to that of the winners, who lifted their skulling boats effortlessly from the water. On the other hand, the losers moved very heavily and found it strenuous lifting their boats onto the bank.
Chris Gollon also reflected that most people's experience of sport is losing, and that even successful sportsmen and sportswomen remember vividly the pain of defeat. Therefore, in the final painting 'Gollon at Henley'---for which this print is a study--he chose to focus on the losing team, while all around them are the colourfully-dressed spectators enjoying a glass of Pimms and a summer's day by the river.
This edition has museum provenance, since no. 1/20 from the edition is in the permanent collection of the award-winning River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames, alongside works by Roaul Dufy, Justin Mortimer and John Piper.
'Gollon at Henley', River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames, May 2008. Shown in the exhibition to unveil the commissioned painting, along with the other studies.
The exhibition was favourably reviewed in The Times by Simon Barnes.
The Regatta silk-screen prints are also mentioned in art historian Tamsin Pickeral's 2010 biography of Chris Gollon 'Humanity in Art', endorsed by Bill Bryson OBE.