Coventry lockdown arts project funded by universities goes live in October

A digital exhibition next month will show the work of 18 local artists who worked in collaboration with researchers from local universities.

A showcase of work by Coventry artists, funded by the city’s universities and produced during lockdown, will launch online next month.

The digital exhibition, Coventry Creates, will show the work of 18 local artists who worked in collaboration with researchers from Coventry University and the University of Warwick, as part of a commissioned project funded by the two institutions.

The public will be able to view the works from noon on 5 October by visiting coventrycreates.co.uk.

The project provided up to £2,000 of funding to chosen artists who produced work in response to pieces of academic research, enabling them to continue their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 18 projects were selected from almost 100 applications and include a variety of art forms such as music, dance, spoken word, textiles, film and theatre. 

During the summer the artists collaborated with researchers from across the social sciences, arts, science and medicine from both the city’s universities and have produced final work for the digital exhibition.

After the exhibition, the selected works will be kept in the Coventry City of Culture Digital Archive and a physical exhibition as part of Coventry City of Culture is being planned for 2021.

Professor Jackie Hodgson, from the University of Warwick, said she was “tremendously excited about the work under the strange circumstances the pandemic presented to us all.”

She continued: “We are proud that Coventry’s two academic institutions could help fund and bring to fruition these important works, in the run-up to City of Culture 2021 and we are looking forward to the continued relationship between the two universities and aligning our efforts”.

Peta Murphy, from Coventry University, described the exhibition as “a unique opportunity to showcase digital artworks created during the pandemic”, adding that it had “been brilliant to be part of this project”.

The full list of artists and projects exhibiting in the Coventry Creates digital showcase, along with details of their work, are:

  • Mary Courtney – Identity of creative individuals living in Coventry.
  • Gemma Foy – Twinning, the importance of internationalisation and peace and reconciliation
  • Emily Warner and Lucy Hutchinson – Research into ‘Care Companion’ – a resource for carers from WMS that supports family carers through digital access to info.
  • Frances Yeung – ‘Homeless Monopoly’ boardgame which is used as a tool for exploring issues around homelessness
  • Verity Pabla – Mapping women’s suffrage in Coventry
  • Paul O’Donnell – Building capacity of refugees through drama and language workshops – especially in the Covid-19 context
  • Stamp Theatre – Research around psychosis and mental health – portrayed through a drama production
  • Kieran Lucas – Working with ‘found sounds’ in Coventry Cathedral archive and interdisciplinary researchers in Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning to produce performance soundscapes
  • Lucie Felix – Exploring reading, books and the experience of using books
  • Highly Sprung – Making short films at home
  • China Plate Theatre – Audio recording exploring emotional impact on healthcare professionals during pandemic contrasted with the hero narrative
  • Theatre Absolute – Using projection of arts as a form of performance during lockdown
  • Marius Mates – Podcast on dance and architecture in Coventry
  • Laura Nyahuye-Maokwo – The artist and the professor, the mother and the wife: reflections on migration, resilience and hope in times of crisis.
  • Eddie Jo Murray – VR film to explore people’s emotions in public spaces and where crowds form.
  • Sherrie Edgar – A film capturing and sharing information through poetry, dance and music articulating a research report produced for the MHPP entitled ‘Employee well-being, mental health and productivity in Midlands firms: ‘The employer perspective. A baseline study for the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot’.
  • Jo Gane – exploring the flow, flora and fauna of the River Sherbourne just at the point in Spon End where it slips beneath the city of Coventry.
  • Siana Bangura – a commissioned work reflecting the ‘Great Pause’ caused by COVID-19 and the revolution triggered by the death of George Floyd.