Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Shakespeare: Modern Art

by Dorothea and Nathaniel Charles

It was one wet day in the middle of August (not particularly uncommon for this year) and my brother and I were cooped up inside the house on the Isle of Wight, not exactly the ideal scenario for a holiday. After hours of endless games of Othello and several films, we came to the conclusion that we were going to paint something, as we clearly had nothing else to do. Out came the canvases. My brother at the time (and still to date) had an obsession with Horrible Histories, so, when he couldn’t think of anything to do, he came up with the idea of interpreting quotations from Shakespeare and forming modern art from them.

I rather rashly agreed, probably out of boredom more than anything else and the concept took off. The idea was to paint a collection of quotations in the form of modern art and to hang them up on my bedroom wall. The first quote we chose was ‘Et tu Brute’, as it was one of our favourites and one that we already had a clear idea about. We set to work.

Our layout was simple; we were going to use emotive colours to symbolise the emotions of each protagonists in the piece, and in the middle there was going to be a big title saying ‘Et tu Brute’ in thick red letters.  We started to paint. Roughly an hour of painstakingly slow painting later, and 6 layers of black later, we were left with our painting. Simple and Striking. Just what we had aimed for. A pen outline round the letters and we were satisfied with the result.

 As we stood crooning over our masterpiece, Mum entered, and her initial response wasn’t quite what we were expecting.
The glory talk never came. Instead a huge spiel about why we couldn’t hang up a painting with a knife on it up in a holiday home. It was crushing, an hour of our lives wasted. When we enlightened her with our other plans (‘Off with his Head’ and ‘Infinite Variety’), she immediately burst into flames of anger because she found the idea that we had even thought about putting these paintings up on the wall, when they contained such violent messages, ludicrous.

We retreated back to our previous game of Othello, then my brother had a brain wave; he would make it a PGS extend project. I jumped at the idea, and Concept Two was born.

Here I am writing this two weeks later, again in the pouring rain, and what have we achieved? Two out of the nine proposed paintings. So each week or two (painting takes time!) we are going to create a new painting, and keep a log of our journey. Who knows, maybe it will become one of our PGS Extend projects next year.

We thought that you would like to hear the song that our quotes are derived from, so we have attached it for you all to have a listen.

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