‘Social distancing’ artwork on display across Coventry

A local artist’s work is being showcased on billboards and signposts across Coventry, highlighting the importance of social distancing in a creative way.

Pictured: Helen Kirkman, Chief Inspector West Midlands Police; Valerie De Souza, public health consultant for Coventry City Council; Artist Lewis Spencer; Waheed Saleem, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner West Midlands; Chenine Bhathena, creative director for UK City of Culture 2021.

A Coventry artist’s ‘social distancing’ artwork is being showcased across the city to highlight the importance of staying safe as life begins to slowly return to normality.

Coventry City of Culture Trust has commissioned artist and graphic designer, Lewis Spencer, to create a series of original artworks to highlight the importance of social distancing, Coventry’s response to Coronavirus and the impact on the city.

Lewis is a multi-disciplinary Coventry artist and creative producer and has been working over recent weeks to create the artwork which will be displayed on billboards across the city. The graphics will also feature on lamppost banners, buses and social media.

Lewis is also a co-founder of the Coventry based, artist-led quarterly magazine Secret Knock, which celebrates the city’s independent, alternative arts and events. A fantastic magazine.

He said: “This has truly been an amazing experience and I have enjoyed every minute of creating work for my city. 

“My initial starting point for my submission to Our New Normal was to create designs that interacted with the city’s architecture and doubled up as infographics about the city whilst still promoting social distancing. 

“I wanted to incorporate Coventry’s monuments and Coventry’s people to capture the city’s youthful spirit, which led me to do more research and tap into the history and archives.

“The messages displayed on the posters are intended to be playful and heartfelt, bringing a bit of joy in these strange, anxious times.”

Chenine Bhathena, creative director of City of Culture Trust, said: “As UK City of Culture, we wanted to put artists at the heart of how we keep communicating about social distancing. 

“Lewis has created a series of iconic artworks which you will see across the city’s skyline in coming days and weeks.

“We’re an inventive and creative city, so these artworks show how our City of Culture can respond to this pandemic, moving people to keep observing social distancing.”

Councillor Kamran Caan, cabinet member for public health and sport, Coventry City Council, said: “It’s important that the social distancing measures and stay safe messaging remains in the forefront of people’s minds as we all look to move forward together as a city over the coming months.

“To assist in the reinforcing of the messaging to our local communities, the artworks will act as a timely visual reminder to users and visitors in and around Coventry.”