A new major artwork in the restored Swan Theatre foyer

A close-up of For all time, where the nose and the lips connect,
Detail of For all time by Steven Follen
Photo by Andrew Fox © RSC Browse and license our images

For all time is a major new artwork commission for the historic Swan Wing, by Brighton-based artist and designer Steven Follen. 

For all time is made of 2,000 hand-made and hand folded stainless steel stars suspended from the ceiling by fine wires to make the shape of a three metres tall human face. The face is surrounded by further metal stars, reflecting the position of the constellations on Shakespeare’s birthday.

The inspiration for the piece comes from Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 2, when Juliet speaks of her star-cross’d lover Romeo, “When I shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine…”.

The title, For all time, is a quote from Ben Jonson’s eulogy to Shakespeare: “He was not of an age, but for all time!”

Further inspiration for the artwork came from architectural features found in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Swan Wing; a combination of Victorian Gothic, 1930s Art Deco and 21st century industrial design in which metal is used prominently.