Grand Unveiling of new Joe Orton Exhibit in David Wilson Library

Posted by ap507 at Sep 26, 2016 01:45 PM |
New exhibit showcases Orton artwork and archive
  • Kenneth
  • Rachel
  • Ceciel Brouwer and Natasha Barrett
  • Leonie
Grand Unveiling of new Joe Orton Exhibit in David Wilson Library

Guests at the launch event

As part of a weekend-long celebration of the life and work of Leicester-born playwright Joe Orton, a new interactive exhibit was officially unveiled in the foyer of the David Wilson Library by Orton’s sister, Leonie Orton Barnett, and award-winning actor Kenneth Cranham at 3pm on 24 September.

The exhibit launch, hosted by Dr Emma Parker from the School of Arts, was the first of a series of Orton-themed events organised by Dr Parker over the two days.

The exhibit features a special commemorative pot created by ceramicist Rachel Barnett, Orton’s niece, originally commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of his breakthrough work, Entertaining Mr Sloane, in 2014. It showcases unique material from the Joe Orton Collection held by the University Library’s Archives and Special Collections, and was curated by Natasha Barrett and Ceciel Brouwer, PhD students from the School of Museum Studies.

The exhibit, housed in a striking red display case, was designed to create a link between the artwork and the Library’s internationally renowned Joe Orton Collection. It tells the story of Orton’s life, the play it celebrates, and artist Rachel’s creative approach to producing the pot. Beneath the artwork, visitors can explore a series of drawers containing material from the archive, and interact with digital content on an attached iPad.

Dr Simon Dixon, Archives and Special Collections Manager, said: “This innovative and engaging exhibit showcases both Rachel’s wonderful artwork and the creativity of Natasha and Ceciel who have done a brilliant job in presenting it to Library visitors.

“From Rachel’s use of false teeth as handles for the pot, to Natasha and Ceciel’s choice of text and images it is a truly ‘Ortonesque’ exhibit. I’m sure Joe would have approved!

“I’m delighted that Kenneth, who played Sloane in the West End and new Joe Orton, and Leonie, who continues to champion her brother’s life and work, could join us for the unveiling.”

The exhibit is now on show on the Ground Floor of the David Wilson Library. It may be viewed during the Library's staffed opening hours. Entry to the Library is free but security controlled. Ask for admission at reception.

Watch a video of actor Kenneth Cranham discussing Entertaining Mr Sloane 50th Anniversary here:

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