Ophelia's Cloak of Power

Ophelia's Cloak of Power


Posted 2023-11-23 by dpmfollow

Sat 25 Nov 2023

Women and girls from across Birmingham and Solihull have participated in a series of arts and wellbeing workshops with Friction Arts inspired by Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, encouraging the women to share their stories through textiles and printmaking.

The stories shared and collated through the workshops, which have been running since March 2023, have been stitched into ‘Ophelia’s Cloak of Power’ which will be processed through the Library of Birmingham on Saturday 25 November before being gifted to Birmingham’s Shakespeare Collection.

Sandra Hall, Director of Friction Arts, said: "Working with artist Joanne Tremarco, Hear Here has been about listening and hearing the voices of Birmingham’s women, documenting their stories and supporting women to creatively represent themselves through the arts. It will be wonderful and moving to see our cloak of power process through the Library of Birmingham on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and for the stories of the women we’ve worked with and that they admire to be a permanent part of Birmingham’s Archive."

Nicola Gauld, Project Manager the ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project, said: "For many Ophelia’s ‘flowers’ in Hamlet symbolize how women’s personalities and desires are often stripped or squashed by society’s expectations, things could have been so different for the character if she’d had her own ‘cloak of power’. We look forward to seeing the cloak process through the Library, it promises to be a beautiful spectacle and it is wonderful that we can add the voices of women and girls in Birmingham to our Shakespeare Collection."

Ophelia’s Flowers are key to understanding Ophelia’s state of mind in Act Four of Hamlet. Within her ‘bouquet’ there are flowers associated with sorrow and mourning, but also happy remembrances; there are flowers that denote purity and chastity alongside flowers given as tokens of sexual or romantic love between partners. In sessions led by artist Joanne Tremarco, who supports people to make beautiful creations out of their lived experience, encouraging and empowering women to feel that their voice matters, participants were introduced to wellbeing practices such as meditation, aromatherapy and herbalism.

Hear Here Her Story takes place at the Library of Birmingham on 25 November from 2-4pm. This is a free, un-ticketed event, open to all, taking place on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The ’Everything to Everybody’ Project is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, with funding contributed by National Lottery Heritage Fund and History West Midlands, ‘Everything to Everybody’ has over four years been giving this uniquely democratic Shakespeare heritage back to people and communities across Birmingham.

To achieve this, the ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project has worked in conjunction with anchor institutions and arts organisations across the City, including Friction Arts.
For more information on the project see [www.everythingtoeverybody.bham.ac.uk]


271244 - 2023-11-23 19:01:16


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