In 1966, during their final world tour, The Beatles were scheduled to play a series of gigs at The Budokan stadium in Tokyo. The gigs were controversial as the Budokan was built for martial arts competitions and ultranationalists were unhappy about pop concerts being played there.
Protests took place against the concerts and 35,000 policemen were brought in to provide security. During the controversy, The Beatles had no choice but to lay low in their hotel – the Tokyo Hilton – between shows.
To pass the time, the band painted a canvas called ‘Images of a Woman’, which is the only known painting The Beatles made together.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the painting, art/music social enterprise Eazl organised for 20 musicians and bands to make their own painting, using the same size canvas and similar paints to those used by The Beatles.
Those taking part in the project, called ‘Art in a Corner’, include Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello, Florence Welch, John Ilsley (Dire Straits), Jerry Dammers and the comedian and writer Charlie Higson.
All 20 paintings – many of which are genuinely impressive pieces of art – are being sold off in aid of children’s charities, including Children & The Arts and National Foundation for Youth Music. Artbeat caught up with Eazl and a number of the artists to find out more about the Art in a Corner project.