Digital gallery created by young Coventrians goes live today

The exhibition includes rap, poetry, visual art and photography, all created around the young artists’ experiences of lockdown.

Young photographer holding their camera in the air.

A digital gallery of artwork, created by young people in Coventry during lockdown, is set to go live this week.

The artists aged 13 to 25 took part in the Unplugged Series – an eight-week programme of mentoring run by Positive Youth Foundation and Coventry City of Culture Trust.

The programme was started during lockdown as part of a drive to combat the impact of the COVID-19 on the creative industries in Coventry.

The young artists were mentored by professional artists and educators, being asked to create work that was shaped by their experiences and to consider how young people can use arts and culture to spread positive messages.

Their final work, which includes rap, poetry, visual art and photography, responds to the themes such as the role of social media post-lockdown, the importance of role models within creative industries and what life could look like after lockdown.

The work will go live today (31 July) at 17:00 on the new Coventry City of Culture website, found at coventry2021.co.uk/explore/unplugged-digital-gallery.

There are also plans for a physical exhibition of the works at a later date.

“This project has tapped into the creativity of Coventry’s younger communities, during an incredibly difficult time for everyone, not least our young people,” explained Chenine Bhathena, creative director at the Coventry City of Culture Trust.

“We are delighted with the breadth of work that has been produced, the different voices and the wonderful talent that has been un-earthed.  We cannot wait for people to visit the digital gallery on our website and enjoy the incredible talent and creativity our city’s young people have to offer,” she added.

Liv, a 20-year-old photographer, whose work will be featured in the digital gallery, praised the project, saying it “has taught me to experiment with my medium more and the importance of critical feedback. 

“I’m definitely going to continue experimenting with different types of photography from now on but also try and reach my goal of becoming a tour photographer,” she added.