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Feel Connected, Get Creative - Coventry Creates

The City of Culture University Partnership

‘Feel Connected, Get Creative - Coventry Creates’


During the UK lockdown in Spring 2020, the City of Culture University Partnership funded 18 artists to work with researchers and create pieces of digital art in response to research at the University of Warwick and Coventry University. The Coventry Creates project has culminated in a online Digital Exhibition that launched on October 5th 2020 to showcase all of this wonderful work.

The Coventry Creates project provided up to £2,000 of funding to the 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 enjoyed a period of collaboration with researchers from across the social sciences, arts, science and medicine. 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, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Warwick, said:

“We are tremendously excited about the work these talented Coventry artists have produced under the strange and difficult circumstances the pandemic presented to us all.

“We are proud that the city of 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 to conduct research that benefits local communities – through 2021 and beyond.

“We are thrilled to be launching this online exhibition of Coventry Creates. It is an innovative programme of work that, through the local creative sector, will bring research to fresh audiences in new and interesting ways.”

Peta Murphy, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Coventry University, said:

“Coventry Creates is a unique opportunity to showcase digital artworks created during the pandemic. The collaborative approach from both universities as co-commissioners to the pairing of artists and researchers has resulted in extraordinary artworks which resonate with our current situation. The artists and researchers have really appreciated each other’s practice and found new ways of expressing research outcomes. It has been brilliant to be part of this project, the showcase is really inspiring!”

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.