THREE artists from diverse backgrounds are hoping to bring a fresh perspective to the life and work of William Shakespeare.
Work by artists Hassan Rahmani, Rumbi Sabanhu and Robbie Dalal, will be added to current exhibitions at Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Henley Street and his final home New Place, exploring the places the Bard once called home in the town.
This new art project has come about through a collaboration between the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) and The GAP, a young people’s arts organisation in Birmingham.
And it is hoped including artists in the exhibition from diverse backgrounds including Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, will breathe new life into the stereotypical image of the famous writer.
Paul Taylor, head of Curatorial and Museum Services at SBT, said: “We’re always looking for new and interesting ways to explore the relationship our audiences have with the life and work of Shakespeare. With a collection as vast as ours, over one million objects, it is always fascinating to see how people interpret them and their significance to both Shakespeare’s work and their own lives.
“For this project it was especially important to us and the GAP to find artists who had a truly unique and diverse point of view, and I’m proud to say we’ve succeed and I can’t wait to see our visitor’s reaction.”
Zimbabwean-born Rumbi has taken inspiration from the fauna and flora present across SBT’s properties and in the collection. She mused on the impact of childhood stories on the imagination of the young boy who would grow up to be Shakespeare, the playwright, and how they shaped his storytelling through imaginative illustrations.
Hassan, an Afghan artist has used traditional kite-making skills he learnt as a child in the mountains surrounding his home city of Mazar-i-Sharif to explore the way silk and stories from his home region have travelled here before him, and may have influenced Shakespeare in his life.
For Robbie Dalal it was about creating a participatory experience that encourages play. Working in digital and physical mediums, he has created a new illustrated card game that will help people learn about Shakespeare’s characters.
The GAP Artist-in-Residence exhibition at both Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Shakespeare’s New Place is on display now and is included in admission. For more information and to book visit www.shakespeare.org.uk