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The Third Annual Staff and Volunteer Exhibition: A Visit

The Third Annual Staff and Volunteer Exhibition was launched on 1 February 2018, and will be at the Hall's Croft Cafe until late April. Take a peek into some of the inspirational works that are being presented.

Rio Turnbull

The launching of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Third Annual Staff and Volunteer Exhibition took place last Thursday, 1 February 2018. It displays several beautiful works of art that have been collected from the talented artists of our staff and volunteers. This exhibition builds on the success of the previous two years, and is being featured at the Hall's Croft Cafe. It is currently open to the public and will be until Sunday, 22 April 2018.

This morning, I had the opportunity to visit the Third Annual Staff and Volunteer Exhibit at the Hall's Croft Cafe. The exhibit, displayed both on the walls and tucked into nooks and crannies throughout the restaurant, features artwork that is varied: from photography to oils and acrylics, mixed media to quilt work, and poems to sculptures.

Photo of Copenhagen by Julia Nottingham, a featured artist

As I was taking my time perusing the exhibit in the near total quiet (save one group of family and friends sat away in a corner of the cafe), the thought occurred to me: it is a true talent to be able to capture an ordinary moment and turn it into something poignant, something that asks you to stop and look for a little longer. Each of the works in this exhibition accomplish that.

Many of these pieces are inspired by Shakespeare, the Houses, and the Bard's revered works. Others choose to delve into deep personal introspection - and some venture into a combination of both. There are pieces that specifically invite people to personally visit the exhibit (one personal favourite, titled "Now We See Him", is a must-see; it isn't every day one gets to see three-dimensional optical illusions in the cafe next to Shakespeare's granddaughter's house, after all). There are lovely photographs of places both local and abroad, reflections upon the Cottage of Anne Hathaway, remembrances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a handmade Japanese-inspired bag, pledges to the heart of family life, and more. All of these provoke in different ways. It’s refreshing to see such a wide collection of ideas and thoughts within the small array of twenty-five or so artistic works.

Sofia, Bulgaria
Photo of Sofia, Bulgaria by Julia Nottingham

Something I, as an art lover, thoroughly enjoy seeing is how art lives on today. It is a breathtaking experience to visit prestigious museums and galleries to see artwork throughout the ages, of course. However, it is a humbling experience to see how those among us continue to carry the tradition on. Art will always impact, both actively and passively, no matter what walk of life you tread. This Third Annual Staff and Volunteer Exhibition seems to resonate with the knowledge that life leaves impressions upon us all.

And that alone is art itself.

Featured Artists

  • Linda Best
  • Julie Costain
  • Sophie Culverwell
  • Mei Gu
  • Renee Jordan
  • Rory Keegan
  • Elliot Lambert
  • Julia Nottingham
  • Matthew Purnell
  • Philippa Rawlinson
  • Angela Smith
  • Ellie Stevenson
  • Jann Tracy
  • Nicci Turville
  • Zack Ward
  • Phillip Watson
  • Louise Wilkinson