We partnered with Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust to deliver a first-of-its-kind immersive art experience called The Art of Shakespeare. It featured 3D installations based on six of Shakespeare's sonnets, crafted by six well-known street artists, in disused retail spaces.
Details
Artist:
Church of Best Ever
Cee Illustrate
Ed Hicks
Pete Barber
Tom J. Newall
Zoe Power
Year:
2023
Location:
West Midlands
Tagged:
3D Build
Award winning
Installation

It was the first time the team had undertaken a high street regeneration project working with empty shopfronts, and the first time the GSA team had delivered a project like this at such a scale.This project won an International Business 'Stevie' Award for Campaign of the Year.

A spokesperson from the Council said, "We knew we needed a way to hang on to our high streets—a new approach to draw people into cafés and our town centre since shops have been disappearing, and it’s a knock-on effect—when shops start to close, the ones nearby do, too. This partnership with GSA has already brought in so much support for the local economy, dressing up empty shops in a way that’s engaging for visitors while being authentic to our core values—bringing attention to Shakespeare’s sonnets, which are far less known than his plays. We love it, the community loves it, and it’s brought an energy to our high street that has truly reinvigorated the area."

Meet the Artists...

Church of Best Ever

BEST | EVER are two like-minded painters from London and Bournemouth. Since meeting in late 2008, the pair have developed a style that combines traditional painterly techniques with intricate aerosol realism. Influenced as much by Schiele and Klimt as by their combined experience as graffiti writers, BEST | EVER execute sensitive subject matters such as death, disease, and mental illness with soul and wisdom that belies their youth.

"

This is not something we had ventured into before, but something we'd talked about doing in our work for a long time."

Neil Edward, Church of Best Ever

Ed Hicks

Ed Hicks was in the photorealist pioneers 54 Crew and has been a constant fixture within London’s street art scene since 2005. His work consists of large, non-figurative paintings evoking the sublime landscapes of the mid-Gothic period.

"

Shakespeare is quite bloody and quite violent. Romantic in the best ways."

Ed Hicks

Zoë Power

Zoë Power is a Bristol-based mural artist and illustrator. She works around the UK, painting huge walls to create unique and much-loved landmarks. With a background in printmaking and signwriting, Zoë has developed a distinctive way of working that blends traditional painting techniques with punchy, graphic imagery. Her unapologetic use of colour breathes life into concrete cityscapes, spreading smiles and joy amongst passers-by. Zoë’s figurative work aspires to celebrate diversity, inclusivity, and humanity. Themes in her artwork touch upon connection, community, and feminism.

"

I've taken inspiration from the sonnet and used some key images: violets fading, day turning into night…"

Zoe Power

Cee Illustrate

Cee is an illustrator and muralist. She has been involved in graffiti and the street art scene for 10 years. The inspiration behind her work is drawn from the graffiti culture, cartoons, and more traditional practices she picked up from studying illustration at Camberwell College of the Arts. Her work consists of bold colour combinations and clean graphic line work.

"

I took the sonnet's approach to how a summer's day never lasts and made my design everlasting by putting it in a frame. Outside the frame are the things that could ruin it—darker days."

Cee Illustrate

Tom J. Newall

Tom J. Newell is an artist and illustrator based in Sheffield, UK, creating intricate, hand-drawn designs for a wide range of clients and exhibiting artwork internationally.

"

The possibilities of the depth of the window and using the space to create layers let me use three or four different moments. It's a 3D effect… As you pass the window, you get different angles."

Tom J. Newall

Pete Barber

Pete Barber has been a prolific street artist and muralist since the late 1990s. He specialises in spray-painted photorealism and loves to combine traditional techniques with contemporary graphic styles and signwriting. His commercial work consists of producing large, high-quality murals for clients such as Gucci, Google, Netflix, and Prada. His personal work is figurative and at home outdoors, alongside that of other street artists. Pete is the lead artist at Global Street Art.

"

We treated each window—each sonnet—like a mini-stage set."

Pete Barber