AN ARTIST is looking to create bespoke pieces of furniture inspired by Shakespeare.
Lee Lapthorne has been appointed the new Artist-in-Residence at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
The artist, fashion and textile designer will be creating a sofa and a love seat inspired by the Shakespeare houses in Stratford and the trust’s museum and archive collection.
The Bard’s Rest will be a sofa featuring intricate embroidery from a 16th century sweet purse, and the original rosette from David Garrick’s Shakespeare Jubilee of 1769. It will go on display at Hall’s Croft, the Stratford Old Town home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her physician husband John Hall.
The Love Settle will be an outdoor two-seater garden lounger bearing digital, screen-printed and embroidered weather-proof fabric inspired by love and romance in Shakespeare’s world. It will be placed in the gardens of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage in Shottery.
Lee said: “It was a real privilege to have access to the trust’s extensive collections, a rich and vast treasure trove of Shakespeare-related items. I was especially drawn to the colours in the 250 year-old Garrick Jubilee rosette, which was commissioned for the very first festival in Shakespeare’s honour, and widely celebrated in his home town every year since.
“I’ve had great fun delving deep into the archives to gather visual evidence which has led me to create a unique colour palette. I set about detailing these colours with their associated textures, using many different paint textiles and mediums to create a modern-interpretation of the Garrick Jubilee cloth. Working with specialist British weavers over a three month period has resulted in a sophisticated material that embodies the essence of Shakespeare’s continuing influence on the world.”
Both items will go on display from March to September.
* Lee will be at Hall’s Croft in Stratford on March 9 to unveil the commissioned pieces as part of the Trust’s After Hours programme, followed by a Q&A. Visit www.shakespeare.org.uk/afterhours for further details.