Bishopston artist is commissioned by Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to create garden light installation

Birthplace-LightshowBristol artist Emily Knight is commissioned by Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to create garden light installation

Bishopston-based spatial designer and artisan maker Emily Knight is busy this month preparing her first commissioned piece for public display. Following a successful bid to create a lighting installation for the garden at Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, Emily is working alongside Bristol-based electrician Aidge Spragg from Switched On to have everything in place for the opening on 27 November.

Entitled ‘450 words’, Emily’s design has been chosen to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. Her installation will use carefully chosen words from Shakespeare’s works, many of which are still used in our daily vocabulary today. The words are being laser cut from transparent Perspex and mounted on metal grid structures that line the pathways of the garden. The words will be lit and add graphic texture to the winter garden.

Emily_KnightSpeaking about her commission Emily says,

“It is hugely exciting, if a little daunting, to be working on such a large scale project that is going to be seen by thousands of people over the next few weeks. It is one that brings together my passions for lighting, spatial and exterior design so it is really very special.

“It’s a brilliant opportunity for Bristol creativity to be showcased at a venue of international stature. I am a little nervous about public reaction to the piece, but am confident that we have created a really authentic way to project Shakespeare’s voice onto the garden he knew and loved.”

‘450 Words’ forms part of the Birthplace Lightshow 2014, now in its second year. In partnership with local businesses and with the support of Grants for the Arts funding from Arts Council England, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has developed a new and contemporary lightshow this winter. Complementing Emily’s garden installation, digital artist Anthony Head, who has extensive firsthand experience working with projections of historical buildings, will explore the text and texture of Shakespeare across four themes, combining the wondrous words of Shakespeare with 16th century music and patterns.

Premiering on Thursday, 27th November as part of the town’s Christmas lights switch-on, spectators will be treated to four shows played on rotation every evening, each showcasing a different theme lasting approximately five minutes, and will include dramatic performances by Shakespeare Aloud!, the resident acting troupe at the Birthplace.

Philippa Rawlinson, head of operations at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said:

“We’re thrilled to have been awarded a grant from Arts Council England which enables us to work with some very talented artists to create a wonderful new lightshow in celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. And for the very first time, visitors will be able to wander round the gardens at night and see a truly inspirational illumination. Locals and visitors to Stratford will be treated to a real showstopper this Christmas!”

The Birthplace Lightshow launches on Thursday 27th November 2014 at 5.30pm, 6.00pm, 6.30pm and 7.00pm. It will then be shown every evening from Friday 28th November until Sunday 14th December 2014 at 4.30pm, 5.00pm, 5.30pm and 6.00pm. Entrance to the Birthplace gardens illuminations is free of charge in between shows.

For more information, visit the What’s On page at or

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