I am Ariel, a spirit of the air by Jane Ray


21 April - 6 May 2023

Jane Ray

Illustrating Shakespeare

Private View: 21st April 2023 10:00 am

Meet the illustrator, Jane Ray, on Friday 21st April, 10-2pm at Watermark Gallery.

Jane Ray is one of the UK’s most celebrated illustrators of children’s literature. Timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio (the first printed collection of his plays) we are delighted to welcome Jane back to Watermark Gallery with this beautiful selection of original illustration from three of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.

“These illustrations from The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night, are part of an ongoing book project with Walker Books and Shakespeare’s Globe. It is an illustrator’s dream job to take on the challenge of illustrating these well-known plays, in this case beautifully retold by Georghia Ellinas for the youngest of audiences.

Mindful of their theatrical origins, I started and finished each book with a miniature stage, to take us from the moment that the curtain is raised and we are drawn into the magic of the play, to the resolution as it falls at the end.

Ariel, Puck and Feste are our narrators in these re-tellings and I took each of them as my starting point, to lead us through the book, using their magic, mischief and observation to tell the story.

There is such rich imagery to draw on in these plays, of course, and such emotion – love and loss, humour, pathos, fear and confusion. With settings as romantic as Athens, Milan and Illyria, summer woodlands, magical islands and midnight gardens I was free to indulge my imagination with a flight of dreaming fancy. Making these paintings has been truly satisfying and pleasurable work.”

Jane Ray April 2023

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