About the artist

About the ArtistGaia Shaw: studied at Wimbledon School of Art. Exhibits at COAST festival, Norwich Print Fair, Norfolk Open Studios, and Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Member of Norwich Print Museum and The Well Artists.

Paintings from the Island

June 2012: Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, and Queen Elizabeth 11’s Diamond Jubilee. Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” first performed 1612, is the inspiration for Gaia’s first solo exhibition at Norwich Playhouse.

A real island like Bermuda, source of slaves and where a shipwreck had recently occurred, may have been a model for Shakespeare’s island. The play has been performed for four centuries on Albion’s temperate shores where Gaia envisions the tale.

Four characters in search of an artist…

Prospero:  a displaced Duke and magician, shipwrecked on a magical island with his daughter Miranda. Prospero ensures his daughter’s restoration to her rightful place and resolution of his exile by mastering the island’s nature. He promises freedom to the spirits of the island who have helped him, before he takes his leave.

Miranda: the only on stage female character. She learns about her exile from Prospero, her only teacher.

Sycorax: the invisible “other” force called “foul witch” by Prospero. She is manifest through his resentful slave, her son Caliban.

Ariel: Prospero’s servant and spirit, is reminded frequently of what he owes Prospero for his freedom from Sycorax’s imprisonment.