Over the course of the last two years there have been a number of City Arcadia activities that have fostered engagement with Coventry’s post war history, urban environment and cultural identity:
RIVER: The City Arcadia project was launched with artist/geographer Kathryn Hawkins who chiselledher representation of Coventry’s hidden river Sherbourne into the floor of City Arcadia shop front gallery.
LOOKING & SEEING: Urban Planner and recent winner of the £250k Wolfston Prize for Economics David Rudlin spent a week at the City Arcadia shop front gallery working with 32 architecture students from Coventry University mapping and building the different points in Coventry’s radical planning history out of plasticine.
TABLE: The Table was designed by Coventry University architecture graduate Yoana Krasteva and first brought together 24 people for two special meals in City Arcade to mark the beginning and end of Coventry Peace Festival. Following this the Table has been in residence at Coventry Cathedral where it has continued to provide a place for debate, discussion and sharing. As well as the Cathedral’s day-to-day use of the Table, it has also been the focus of further City Arcadia events including Meet the Architect, when an audience was able to engage in a question and answer session with the designer of the table, and Hunger, a gathering of nearly 50 residents of Coventry from different cultural groups to share food and discuss culture, love and architecture in the city.
The Table will be used again in the City Arcadia Festival to support the culmination of the commissions. Ultimately, the table will take up permanent residence at The Coventry Cathedral, alongside some of the most celebrated pieces of 20th Century art held in the city. As a peace festival commission and a physical focus for sharing and debate, the Table’s natural home is the Cathedral, sitting at the heart of Coventry’s treasured philosophy of peace and reconciliation.
DISTILLING THE DREAM: Philosopher and Automotive Design lecturer Aysar Ghassan provided a talk on ‘The Language of Modernism’.
FUTUREDAY: Networking and explorations day for 23 of the practitioners shortlisted during the commissioning process was held at the City Arcadia shop front gallery and other venues across the city.
MARKING THE INTERNET AND THE PHYSICAL: An installation by Ryan Hughes in the physical space of Coventry’s City Arcade promoting the City Arcadia programme and commissions.
TOMORROW VERSUS YESTERDAY: A walk to mark Heritage Open Days in association with RIBA exploring some of Coventry’s Modernist buildings central to the master planners’ post-war visions of the ‘future’ city. Visitors received a brief introduction to the City Arcadia project and were then taken on an architect-led walking tour exploring Coventry’s iconic modernist architecture.
All of the events were curated on behalf of Coventry Artspace by Director Laura Elliot and Co-curator Michael Mayhew