Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary .
Living in Stratford on Avon, there is no getting away from the Bards influences , having the worlds greatest playwright born, lived ,died and buried in your home town has many advantages .It has made a small Warwickshire market town an international tourist destination and as a local I may have to contend with a few parking and traffic issues, but to live in or near Stratford upon Avon is a great privilege and I am very lucky to be just down the river at Welford on Avon.
Shakespeare had to go to London to make his fortune and so did I. Working from a London base for most of my career, but as William Shakespeare,I too returned to my home town. The world is now a global village and having a studio and a home only a cycle ride away, is a luxury (although I don't cycle that often ) my daily commuting 4 hours a day is something I really don’t miss.
However the excitement of the worlds most dynamic city as my workplace is something I do miss ,but it can be easily reached and is appreciated even more when I go especially when enjoying some of the worlds best museums and galleries as well as still working on location or hire studios in the capital .
The world is about to focus on my home town, The Birthday celebrations of Shakespeare happen every year, but this year is very special. This year, 2016 is 400 years since his death and so there shall be a very big party and the world will be watching.
There is one thing that has changed little since the young Shakespeare schooled at KES (King Edward V1 School).
The River - the reason Stratford upon Avon is where it is, the river and its crossing is something that is constant and yet ever changing. I have used it as a backdrop for many photographic shoots and as subject itself ,I have enjoyed capturing its wonderful moods ,from gentle summer reflections to a flooding torrent that has invaded the fields,meadows and sometimes the town .I am sure that the Bard would even recognise some of the upper and lower reaches of the river ,only a short walk from the town and as a young lad he probably did enjoy the walks by the Avon all those years ago .
In the next few days I shall be involved as a photographer documenting some of the celebrations along with the world's media celebrating the Birth of a son of Stratford upon Avon ,who arguably has had a more influence on English and English speaking world culture than any other writer or artist.
I’m sure Will would have some wonderful words to inspire and communicate about his own birthday and his death but I shall just try to capture a few images that will record a Birthday celebration like no other.
I shall also continue to photograph the River Avon , hopefully capturing its mystery and beauty that I am sure the Bard would have enjoyed all those years ago .