Wanting to complete our triptych of Hamlet (which you can admire in front of room KS 5), class Q11 decided to enact Ophelias‘s drowning herself in a brook halfway between Lochau and Fichten in a muddy pond full of algae, pestered by gadflies.
The objective was to reproduce John Everett Millais‘ famous 1851 pre-Raphaelite painting of Ophelia floating like a buoy among the reeds in black and white photography.
In Shakespeare‘s Hamlet, act 4, scene 6 she drowns herself in a surfeit of feeling after having been rejected by Hamlet. Through the ages, the interpretation of her character has gone from neurotic, picturesque madness to the feminist heroine, but we just wanted a feww idyllic shots on a summer’s day.
In act 4, scene 4, Ophelia loses it and turns up at Elsinore Castle with an armful of weeds: rosemary, pansies, fennel, columbine and rue, each symbolizing the quality of relationship she had with the individual protagonists.
Due to a lack of flora in the adjoing field, we just strew our Ophelias with cornflowers after they had stepped into the pond in a nightgown provided by Hannah Rohde‘s great-grandmother. The feeling of half a meter of slimy mud beneath your feet and nosy trouts around you deterred most of the students, but two brave female and three male Ophelias trod bravely in and floated.
There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream:
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies and long purples
There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clamb‘ring to hang, an envious sliver broke
When down the weedy trophies and herself
Fell into the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And mermaid like awhile they bore her up,
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creatute native and indued
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Till that her garments: heavy with their drink,
Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
We got our pictures thanks to Robin Schaller, who volunteered as a photographer without even being in the course.
What we also got was bouts of hayfever, taking turns outsneezing one another. All for the sake of literature.
See here the original painting by Millais we tried to match:
and see the gallery for the results of our project
Andrea Walther-Gläseke, 2019-07-19 19:05:14
... Mehr zum Thema in unserer Bildergalerie sowie unter www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/sir-john-everett-milla ...