To accompany Opera North's Shakespeare Resounding season, a Matter of Fact presents photography and installation work exploring our willingness to suspend disbelief for the sake of a good story. Inspired by the enduring relevance and timeless qualities of Shakespeare's plays, this exhibition takes as its starting point the intriguing relationship between eyewitness account and fiction.
Two specially commissioned works by contemporary artists are displayed alongside photographs and documentation from the infamous Cottingley Fairies story, forming a playful investigation of ideas such as 'evidence' and 'proof' in art's attempt to enrich everyday life.
The photographs taken by Yorkshire girls Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright are now nearly 100 years old but time hasn't eroded the impact of their playfulness. In 1917, it seemed as if the whole world was taken in by their photographs of fairies in Cottingley Beck, which were lent further authority by the patronage of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The exhibition will display five photographic prints of the Cottingley Fairies alongside drawings and writings by Frances and Elsie. Interviews with the pair nearly 60 years after the original fairy-furore in a spellbinding documentary made for Yorkshire Television's Calendar News programme in 1973 will also be shown.
Distant Relatives is a newly commissioned photographic series made to accompany Opera North's production of Macbeth. Artist Giuseppe Lambertino travelled to the far reaches of Scotland to document actual sites relating to the real 11th century Scottish king, who may or may not have been the inspiration for Shakespeare's play.
Love Capital accompanies Roméo et Juliette and displays the results of artists Eva Rowson and Yvonne Carmichael's trip around locations in Verona associated with the world's most famous lovers. The installation will present their souvenirs with an artist's book exploring the commercial opportunities created by Romeo and Juliet's tragic but everlasting love.