From mud to Macbeth, and for sale

Rachelle Thackray on the artist seeking buyers for her unique record of the Globe
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The Independent Online
THERE was one moment when June Everett, artist-in-residence at the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London for 18 years, thought her career had come to a premature end. She was up on the roof of an adjacent building, painting the builders at work. "I hadn't realised the place was empty, and then the steel door slammed behind me. I thought I would be there forever, because nobody knew I was on the roof, and nobody had the keys."

Fortunately for June, the site foreman heard her shout and came to the rescue. Since then, she has completed her pictorial record of 160 paintings charting the progress of the Globe's reconstruction. Her works will be displayed for two weeks in May at the London headquarters of Taylor Woodrow. It could be the last chance for people to view the fascinating story from start to finish. June is looking for a sponsor to buy the entire collection for pounds 120,000, preferably to keep at the theatre, but the only offers so far have been from Globe lookalike theatres in the United States and Germany.

"Every time the paintings are on show, people offer to buy individual ones. I have always said 'no' until it was finished, but this is the crunch. I have to pay off my debts," she said.

Having spent pounds 15,000 on materials alone, she has already mounted exhibitions everywhere from Stratford-upon-Avon to Bremen, in Germany.

June has worked at the site since it was, literally, a hole in the ground. She contacted Sam Wanamaker, the film-maker and creator of the new Globe, after seeing him on television, and said she would like to record the building of the theatre. June was not paid for her work, like many of the Globe's volunteer workforce. "There was never any money; every brick had to be saved and worked for. I just assumed I had to do it; it becomes part of you. I know every stick and stone."

Half the paintings are now displayed on a staircase at the London theatre; the rest are in June's studio. "Ted Hampton, the site manager, feels very strongly about these paintings because it's his boys. That's why I wrote all the names under the pictures, because inevitably people will forget them," said June.