Pulling stories off the page into artworks has a long tradition, from illuminated manuscripts through to modern day films.
The Word in South Shields has commissioned five shirts inspired by five writers. In each shirt I have attempted to capture the feelings and ideas I experienced when reading the work of the different authors; The Venerable Bede, Phillis Wheatley, Lewis Carroll, Elinor Brent-Dyer and Julia Darling.
Sometimes unexpected connections have been found between the writers. The sense of miracle and wonder that comes when we dream is explored by Bede in the 700s and over a thousand years later by Lewis Carrol. Phillis Wheatley and Elinor Brent-Dyer published works that were seemingly highly conventional, but contained strong subtexts of radicalism. Julia Darling explores the necessity of collecting objects and records for future generations, just as Bede was driven to write England’s first history book.
Shirt Tales can be seen until 2nd June.