ShakeArt! is an exceptional project based on artistic collaboration, which was inspired by William Shakespeare’s works. It was conceived by Małgorzata Limon, a painter and a niece of the late professor Jerzy Limon, who passed away in March this year.
The painter invited 15 visual artists from Pomerania, Bydgoszcz and Warsaw to join the project and invigorate the world of arts together after the long-lasting pandemic. The artists also aimed to pay tribute to the many years of Professor Jerzy Limon’s activity as an outstanding expert and unwearied populariser of the works of the grand master from Stratford.
Within the ShakeArt! project, each of the artists created two paintings inspired by Shakespeare’s works. 30 paintings will be presented in the exhibition hall of the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre and accompanied by Krzysztof Szczypior’s film featuring the artists and authors of the project.
Małgorzata Limon on the project: “August is a special month to me. Since my childhood, it has been in this time of the year that, owing to my uncle, we would attend performances based on Shakespeare’s plays. I am thrilled that the Shakespeare Theatre enabled the realisation of my idea in this very important time – in August, during the Shakespeare Festival in Gdańsk. The entire event is held in the memory of my tragically deceased uncle, professor Jerzy Limon, the creator of the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre and the Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival”.
Each of the artists was free to interpret the work in an unrestrained manner. The idea of the project was to reflect the diversity of perceptions of Shakespeare’s works, to show varying trends in the Polish arts and to promote young Polish artists. Another aim of the project is to show that the works of the master from Stratford are timeless, live and up-to-date and can inspire anyone to venture their own interpretation and find their own traits, thoughts and topic in Shakespeare’s characters.
The exhibition vernissage (2nd of August, 2021, the yard of the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre) was a performative event. Amateur actors impersonated the Shakespeare’s characters that had been portrayed by the artists, thus creating a parade of tableaux vivants, which approached the audience and engaged into a dialogue with its members.
The event was co-created by Tricity female artists – Alicja Gruca – a creator of unique costumes, painter, performer and stage designer, and Joanna Czajkowska – a choreographer, dancer and dance teacher – both of whom breathed the artistic spirit into the event.
Małgorzata Limon: „ShakeART! was conceived to “offer some relief” to art lovers and artists following the hardships of the pandemic, during which many people have fallen seriously ill or lost someone dear. Art is to purify us of negative emotions so that we are strong enough to face the adversities of fate.”
The project accompanies the 25th Shakespeare Festival in Gdańsk. It was created in cooperation with the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre with the support of the Theatrum Gedanense Foundation, the Gdańsk Community Foundation and the DESA Unicum Auction House.