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Wimbledon brought to life in Behind the Scenes exhibition

Henman Hill panoramas
by Alexandra Willis
Thursday 15 November 2012

The All England Club has been recreated in many different artistic guises. Centre Court, No.1 Court, Henman Hill, The Queue - all are Wimbledon landmarks which have piqued the creative interest of artists for decades. 

One such artist is Sally Booth, who was drawn to enter the Museum Education Department's 125 Racquets community art project, which invited local artists to submit a racket-themed work in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of The Championships in 2011. 

"I like really unusual places, especially outdoors," explains Booth. "I'm a self-employed artist so I've always been interested in diverse projects.There is history everywhere at Wimbledon, each court has it's own history, and there is this overwhelming desire to capture everything."

So it was that the idea of a Behind the Scenes artist's residency emerged, which took place as preparations were made for The Championships 2012 between April and June 2012. Booth led workshops with the Wimbledon Guild, St Cecilia's Scedonary School and Merton Abbey Primary School, introducing the groups to working outdoors using new materials such as acetate and balsa wood, and in original formats such as panoramas and concertina sketchbooks. 

"The children were fantastic, so full of energy," says Booth. "It's not like being stuck in a class room. Taking them into Centre Court, up the stairs for the big reveal, there's always this gasp, without fail. Even though it's not a huge space, it has a tremendous effect."

A selection of work produced was shown in the Conservatory Cafe during The Championships, prior to the final exhibition, shown at the AELTC's Wingfield Cafe this week, which included examples from all participating groups and Booth's own creations. 

"I know that the group really enjoyed the various mediums with their drawings and I have never seen them so immersed and focused in what they were doing!" said St Cecilia's art teacher Ben Phillips. 

View a gallery of images from the exhibition

Find out more about the Museum Education Department


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