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University of Warwick and Coventry Biennial: Looking Back

We Bear - Coventry Biennial 2022

The University of Warwick has been collaborating with the Coventry Biennial since its second iteration in 2019, with artists responding to a variety of Warwick research and Warwick researchers participating in various events. Find out more about the ongoing relationship.

Coventry Biennial 2021: HYPER-POSSIBLE

Taking place from October 2021 until January 2022 across Coventry and Warwickshire, the third Coventry Biennial was entitled HYPER-POSSIBLE. Referencing the radical nature of Coventry’s history whilst also signifying a positive way forward out of the pandemic, HYPER-POSSIBLE saw more than 50 artists (local, national and international) exhibiting in seven locations across Coventry and Warwickshire, including Coventry Cathedral, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Leamington Art Gallery & Museum, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, The Old Grammar School and a new gallery for the city, located above HMV Empire Coventry. Warwick contributed to a number of projects during 2021 and lasting relationships were developed between artists and researchers.

Warwick’s involvement with Coventry Biennial 2021 was made possible thanks to funding from the University of Warwick's ESRC Impact Acceleration Account ES/T502054/1.

The River Below

As part of ‘The River Below’ exhibition Warwick supported a development workshop in Coventry with artists Kate Carr and KMRU, Professor Holger Schulze and Dr Michael Pigott (Film and Television Studies, UoW). The artists also spent a week working with Michael on ideas around urban sounds and how to map them as part of Michael’s Sensing the City Work. Recording contributed by the artists also featured in an album as part of ‘Listening to the Anthropocene’.

Image credit: Ben Rivers, Look Then Below, Moving Image, 2019. Courtesy: Ben Rivers and LUX, London)

‘Listening to the Anthropocene’ and ‘Talking and about the Anthropocene’

The three artists and Michael also took part in the ‘Talking about the Anthropocene’ symposium at Coventry Transport Museum, which was supported by Warwick, with Warwick researchers Professor Alice Mah (Sociology), Dr Leon Sealey Huggins (Global Sustainable Development) Professor Noortje Marres (Centre for Applied Methodology) joining the discussions. The symposium was associated with the ‘Listening to the Anthropocene’ exhibition at Coventry Cathedral.

Concrete Cinema

Concrete Cinema, an outdoor projection project by Dr Michael Pigott, involved commissioning 3 artists (Antonio Roberts, Benedict Drew, and Laura Dicken) to make moving image works for projection onto concrete surfaces in the city, informed by Michael’s research from The Projection Project and Sensing the City. This resulted in 4 nights of outdoor projections. As a truly collaborative partner Coventry Biennial helped with marketing the events as part of their programme.

‘We Bear’ with Faye Claridge and Anastasia Chamberlen

Warwick also supported the 'We Bear' commission by artist Faye Claridge and introduced Faye to Professor Anastasia Chamberlen (Sociology). Faye and Ana’s dialogue around prisons and art and their exchange of research, insights and ideas was shared in an in a public ‘in conversation event’.

Faye and Ana have continued to share their knowledge and collaborate, with their relationships having contributed to successful funding bids for both. They have also secured funding for further exhibitions and conferences.

Watch this space for more news on their continued work!

Coventry Biennial 2019: THE TWIN

The 2019 Biennial programme considered Coventry’s role as a twin city, ‘The Twin’ explored themes, ideas and processes which resonate through Coventry as an international city. Such as translation, collaboration, and togetherness alongside some of the challenges of globalisation in terms of political inequality and conflict.

Warwick commissioned 3 artists to respond to 3 areas of Warwick research.

Stephen Cornford: The Projection Project

Artist Stephen Cornford responded to Dr Michael Pigott’s (Film and Television Studies, UoW) AHRC funded ‘The Projection Project’.

Projection project image 1

The Projection Project

Image Credit: Tara Rutledge

Projection project image 2

The Projection Project

Image Credit: Marcin Sz

A Forgetting of Light

Artist Grace Nagle responded to research from Dr Cecilia Muratori and Professor David Lines (both Italian Studies, UoW) into Jacob Böhme, the first German philosopher. Böhme wrote extensively about Lucifer and it is this aspect of the research which has particularly inspired Grace. The artwork was installed in the Medieval Undercroft beneath the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.

Bex Ilsley: Möbius Syndrome

Artist Bex Ilsley responded to research by Dr John Michael (UoW) into social skills and interaction in teenagers with Möbius Syndrome.