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Tribute to Freddie Mercury: Music Legend connected with Liverpool!

Updated: Jun 19

This year I got to design one of the pianos in the Liverpool ONE yearly celebration called "Tickle the Ivories" where pianos are placed in various Liverpool ONE locations for the public to sit and have a go at playing a tune.

The theme for 2024 is "Music Legends" and I am honoured to represent the Freddie Mercury piano - I have enjoyed every research and design minute of it!

Inspiration behind the project:

Submitting my idea was a development from an earlier project called "Our Correspondence" where scenes of people getting on in their day were illustrated in the style of "where's Wally" but in black and white. I wanted to have Freddie's outfits as the only figures with colour, that stands out, like Mercury's vibrant energy and spirit.

Getting the concept together:

The process started by watching documentaries and researching places in Liverpool where Queen and his earlier bands had played.

I visited the Dovedale towers in Liverpool to see where Freddie made plans and dreamt big in his early years.

His early Liverpool band "Ibex" played at THE SINK on Hardman Street in Liverpool which later became the historic music venue THE MAGNET. For more information about his timeline, visit the LivertoursLiverpool website.

I then looked into the iconic outfits he wore on and off stage and started to sketch to see how many, what colours, the poses, the expressions of this dynamic performer.

Next would be the attempt to digitally draw these figures. I'm comfortable with a pencil and paper, this was pushing my own boundaries but it's on live projects that you learn the most. That I did. I probably spent more time than I should have done getting the poses and lines right but how could I not!

I also drew some items of reference and began to get drawings of regular folk that would be scattered across the design. Refining, adjusting, scaling, moving these subjects back and forth, shew! it was great, I got to concentrate on perspective, get frustrated, find solutions, add, delete and in the end sit back and say, hey Freddie!

Freddie Mercury iconic outfits and poses on stage
Freddie Mercury Poses

The next step was getting the design file over to Liverpool ONE for the production and installation of the vinyl skin (not my dept) and final step is well... yet for me to see.

"My tribute to the timeless appeal of Freddie Mercury and the power of music and art to bring people together." Karen Hitchcock

I would love to see people play the notes displayed on the front of the piano (easy for the musicians out there) and tag me on any videos on instagram - #kharicature !!!

List of items/ideas incorporated into the piano design:

Dovedale Towers

Empire Theatre (where Queen performed Bohemian Rhapsody for the first time live)

The Sink


The Cavern Club

Liverpool University

Coach from Halewood to Widnes

Sour Milk Sea (Band)

Ibex (Ram) (Band)

Wreckage (Band)

Smile (Band)

Plane (Freddie worked at an airport)


Cats (my how he loved cats)

Bottomless Mic



Party table, flowers

Earl Grey Tea

Couch (where he crashed some nights)

Edwardian embellishments


60 - number at Dovedale


Did I say cats...



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