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Lee Lapthorne

When Culture Meets Couture

Curator, Mentor and Art Director and now Artist-in-Residence at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - just some of the titles held by one of the country’s leading fashion and event management experts, Lee Lapthorne

As a prominent artist, fashion and textile designer, Lee has created two bespoke pieces of furniture inspired by the historic interiors of the Shakespeare houses and the Trust’s world-class museum and archive collection. They will go on display at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Hall’s Croft from 11 March – 15 September 2019.

Lee's work is unique in creating a multi-disciplinary approach to fabric manipulation with hand printing, painting, embroidery, embellishment, devoré, discharge, fringing, digital printing, and sequining. He said, “It was a real privilege to have access to the Trust’s extensive collections, a rich and vast treasure trove of over 1 million 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 hometown of Stratford 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 in Sudbury over a three month period has resulted in a sophisticated material that embodies the essence of Shakespeare’s continuing influence on the world.”

“It was a real privilege to have access to the Trust’s extensive collections, a rich and vast treasure trove of over 1 million Shakespeare-related items.

— Lee Lapthorne

Lee's success stems from his unprecedented drive and unique approach to his art. Effortlessly shifting energy from working in partnership with brands and clients creating a backdrop and a concept from which to showcase their work, to his pivotal role leading the team at On|Off, on the search for the next big thing. Through the years Lee has collaborated with talents such as Rankin, Groove Armada, and most recently, Haris Nukem, as well as producing over 300 shows globally for the likes of Peter Pilotto, J.W. Anderson, Roksanda Ilincic, Gareth Pugh and Gucci, among many more. Lee is also a Visiting Lecturer at The Royal College of Art and Central St. Martins.

Lee Lapthorne’s residency at SBT is supported by Arts Council England as part of the charity’s creative and outreach programme to share Shakespeare’s works, life and times with communities.

After-Hours Event: The Art of Design with Lee Lapthorne

On 9th March 2019, Lee will be at Hall’s Croft to exclusively unveil the commissioned pieces as part of our After Hours series of events, followed by a Q&A discussing new ways of reinventing old pieces of furniture and textiles to create something unique - an inspiring event for the creatively curious. 

Booking is essential as spaces are limited.  

Tickets: £10 Adults/ £8 Concessions/ £8 Friends of the Trust 

Book online, at our ticket offices at any of Shakespeare's family homes, or call 01789 201806. 

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