A new photographic exhibition at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will present a fresh perspective of Stratford-upon-Avon.
Living with History is a collection of 14 photographs by William Mulryne that will be on display at Hall’s Croft café, between 18 May and 29 September. Hall’s Croft is the Jacobean home of William Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna, and her husband, the prominent physician John Hall, and one of five homes linked to Shakespeare and his family that are cared for by the independent charity. The exhibition is supported by Arts Council England.
William, who has Asperger Syndrome, was born and brought up in Stratford and studied photography at Stratford-upon-Avon College. He describes himself as “an observer of things”. His photographs are his documentary of everyday life in a population of around 30,000 people, sharing their town with five million visitors each year as the birthplace of William Shakespeare.
William said, “Stratford-upon-Avon is an amazing place with a special feeling, but the town gets smaller every time you go out. I understand when people get angry at the various developments as it changes the feeling of the town with every one. Asperger Syndrome made growing up a series of experiences, everything was 100 per cent interesting. I experienced cars, music, elevators: the sounds and the way they moved, working out how they worked and being mesmerised by the visual movement.”
Living with History takes place in this 250th anniversary year of the Shakespeare Jubilee, which was organised in 1769 by prominent actor and theatre impresario, David Garrick. It took place in Stratford-upon-Avon and was the first celebration of Shakespeare anywhere in world, and really established his home town as the tourist and cultural destination that it is today.
The exhibition is curated by Josephine Reichert, the founder and director of Ort Gallery, an artist-led exhibition space in Balsall Heath, Birmingham. Ort Gallery showcases the work of under-represented artists and facilitates dialogue in the community, making art accessible to everyone. William is also being mentored by the Prince’s Trust.
Louisa Davies, head of creative programme at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “The photographs selected for this exhibition capture William’s feelings beautifully; the nostalgia of childhood, the love for restoration and keeping history alive. They capture a brief moment in time and yet they represent a very different view of the town to the experience most tourists will have. They give us an insight into ‘real life’, the every day and the extra ordinary within these humdrum moments.”
Living with History at Hall’s Croft café runs from 18 May – 29 September. Entrance is free. For more information, visit www.shakespeare.org.uk/visit/halls-croft/living-history