Competition for miniature artworks

6 July 2010

'a great opportunity for people to literally put their stories into the walls of this extraordinary building'

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) invites people to create miniature artworks which will be embedded in the walls of the transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST), due to reopen later this year.

My RSC Gallery will be the first exhibition created especially for the RSC's new theatre and will feature 50 small boxes built into its walls. Each box will contain a unique piece of art inspired by Shakespeare, theatre or the RSC, and the RSC is running a public competition to select the art which goes inside. People are invited to submit a picture of their artwork and supporting information to a new website http://www.myrscgallery.com/. The entries, along with the stories, experiences or memories behind them, will be displayed online and voted on by the public. A panel of judges will select the winners later this year, whose artwork will be put into the boxes ready for the theatre reopening. My RSC Gallery was created for the RSC by renowned international artist Luke Jerram, who has developed a range of public art projects, including 'Play Me, I'm Yours,' which sees street pianos distributed in cities across the globe, including New York City and London, with the project currently being endorsed by Alicia Keys and the mayors of each city.

Commenting on My RSC Gallery, Luke Jerram said: "This is a great opportunity for people to literally put their stories into the walls of this extraordinary building, to be discovered by other visitors for many years to come and is a perfect way of reminding people this is a theatre for everyone.

"Artwork could be a representation of a favourite line from a play, a treasure map perhaps leading you somewhere else in Stratford, photos and mementos from a special trip to the theatre or a drawing, painting or collage depicting a character or scene. We are really looking forward to seeing a range of materials, styles and techniques.

"Inspired by the long history of the RSC, I hope that a grandmother might one day show her grandchildren the hidden drawing she created years before for the theatre.

"The stories, thoughts or memories are as important as the artwork itself and will be taken into account in the judging process."

Those participating will be asked to create a 'piece of art' which fits within specific dimensions: width 16.5cm x height 16.5cm x depth 5cm, before submitting a photograph of what they have made, along with 100 words describing the idea behind it.

Jo Whitford, RSC Events and Exhibitions Manager, said: "My RSC Gallery reflects the RSC's desire for our new home in Stratford-upon-Avon to be a space for everyone to enjoy. This is a chance for people to get creatively involved in the RST's transformation, putting their own stamp on this famous building, and we'd like as many as possible to take part.

"This competition isn't just for artists. We are looking forward to seeing a whole range of artwork and abilities and we're just as interested in finding out the stories and memories behind each piece, so all that is needed to enter is an idea relating to Shakespeare, theatre or the RSC, and a little bit of creative flare. There's more information on the My RSC Gallery website, to help people think of the type of thing they may like to create, plus the chance to watch a video of the artist, Luke Jerram, talking about how he came up with the idea and what we're looking for."

The competition is open to UK residents aged 18 years and over, although a separate competition is being run for schools and colleges – more details for schools and colleges can be found on the RSC's website www.rsc.org.uk/myrscgallery.

Anyone who does not have access to the internet can contact the RSC's Events and Exhibitions Department for more information on 01789 412639.

The public competition closes for submissions on 31 August, with the winners being announced in the autumn, ready for the final artwork to be installed in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST), which will open at the end of November 2010.

-Ends-


Further details

For more details, please contact:

Anna McNeil on 01789 27 2438 (anna.mcneil@rsc.org.uk)
Philippa Harland on 0207 845 0512 (philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk)
or Dean Asker on 01789 412660 (dean.asker@rsc.org.uk)

Photographs of Luke are available from Dean or Anna.


Notes to editors:

About Luke Jerram

  • Luke Jerram is an established, Bristol-based artist with a global profile.
  • Luke has spearheaded numerous projects around the world, including 'Sky Orchestra' for the RSC's Complete Works Festival in 2006 and currently 'Play me, I'm yours' http://www.streetpianos.com /
  • For further details of his work go to: www.lukejerram.com

About My RSC Gallery

  • The boxes in the MY RSC Gallery will all be glass-fronted, with visitors being able to lift a door to reveal the artwork inside.
  • The RSC will be selecting artwork created by schools, RSC staff and alumni and members of the public to install into the exhibition, with over half of the 50 boxes being allocated to public entrants.
  • The artwork will be judged by a panel of members of the RSC, and Luke Jerram – artwork will be judged against the competition criteria, which is available at www.myrscgallery.com – both the artwork itself and the 100 word descriptions will be taken into account.

About the Transformation of the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres

  • The Transformation of the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres is progressing on time and on budget and will see the creation of an array of new public spaces, with a 1,000+ seat thrust stage auditorium at the heart of the project.
  • Both the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres will re-open this November for a series of preview events and activities which will allow the RSC to test the building and its facilities in advance of the first performances from February 2011.

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