2016 commemorates 400 years since the death of Shakespeare giving rise to a whole host of special exhibitions and events throughout the country. The Bankside Gallery will be showing an exhibition of Shakespeare inspired prints in June made by members of the RE, (the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers).
This subject appeals to me and I decided at the beginning of the year to make a series of prints using deaf actors or models performing extracts of Shakespeare roles.
My first model was Phyllisha Johnson, a partially hearing lady who takes part in church worship, sometimes using BSL and SignDance. I asked Phyllisha to sign one of Portia’s speeches from the Merchant of Venice. Portia assumes the role of a lawyer’s apprentice to deliver this speech and dresses accordingly.
“The quality of mercy is not strain’d, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath; it is twice blest, It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes………’
I hired a tudor woman’s costume to photograph, to add to the image, to represent Portia’s hidden identity. I’ve had fun arranging the costume in various ways……..
and trying various ideas for incorporating all the different elements…………