Poetry is in motion ahead of Shakespeare’s birthday celebrations


EMPTY shop windows in Stratford are getting a poetic overhaul in time for Shakespeare’s birthday celebrations.

A series of art installations taking inspiration from Shakespeare’s Sonnets have been created by world-famous street artists.

The project, which is being led and funded by Stratford District Council, will see five unique artworks created, which have been designed to be moveable so that they can be moved and installed in the windows of empty buildings across the town centre.

Tony Perks, SDC deputy chief executive, said: “Stratford is a beautiful town. Following the Covid pandemic our high streets are in a state of transition meaning that some units are empty. As the district council, we are keen to ensure that Stratford remains an attractive place to live work and visit. This project gives the opportunity to create some high quality, Shakespeare themed, original artwork that will improve the appearance of our streets and draw people into our town to support the local businesses.

“The installations are designed to be portable so, as the shops come back to life, the artwork can be moved to other locations in around the Stratford district. The artwork will be exciting, challenging and vibrant and will offer the chance for people to experience something different within the home of Shakespeare.”

And to ensure this place making project stands out from the crowd, SDC has partnered with leading street art collective, Global Street Art who have delivered immersive experiences in London and across the world.

Lee Bofkin, CEO of Global Street Art, said: “It’s been a pleasure to partner with Stratford District Council on this exciting project to bring something new and unexpected to the high street. We’re thrilled to bring our unique approach to street art to Shakespeare’s hometown and create an immersive experience for visitors and locals alike, particularly at this important milestone in the year.

“The installations by six incredibly talented artists are thought-provoking, engaging and bring a fresh take to the bard’s work. We’re excited to showcase the power of street art in bringing communities together and helping to create a sense of place.”

The initial venue for the installations will be 21 and 22 Henley Street, located just up the road from Shakespeare’s Birthplace.

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