The Pod’s Scratch the Surface Mental Health Arts Festival

We’re really looking forward to Monday when The Pod’s Scratch the Surface Mental Health Arts Festival begins – City Arcadia is just so pleased to be able to support the event by hosting the EndsllBegins exhibition, including work by Stuart Semple and 18 Coventry artists at our pop up gallery in City Arcade.  We hope many of our friends will be able to come along to see it when it opens on 17th March…

The airwaves are back on!

Artspace would like to apologise to Visualising the City / City Arcadia followers and participants who have missed seeing regular news and updates from the project. BUT! After a month of review and re-evaluation, we are delighted to announce that we are back in business. We are really excited to be working with four artists on the development and presentation of their commissions this summer – Lauren Heywood and Rob Hamp from Coventry, Amelia Crouch from Leeds and Spencer Graham from Northamptonshire. Check out their information and pages on this site to find out more about their projects. We are also planning a surprise treat for the summer holidays…more on that later!

In addition to the commissions we are working with a exciting group of artists, some home grown in Coventry to complete the research and development phase of seven projects that will provide the basis for a future programme of work for Coventry.

Michael Mayhew completed his contract and left Artspace at the end of January, while Laura Elliot left us to take up maternity leave in November 2015. We would like to thank Michael and Laura for all their hard work and inspirational ideas on the City Arcadia project. Artspace Interim Director Mindy Chillery is overseeing the delivery of the final phase of the work with the support of Artspace Trustee Nicola Richardson of Vortex Creates.

Much more news to come ….watch this space…


A year on and we are delighted with The TABLE and the City Arcadia partnerships and events that continue to evolve it in space, structure and purpose. Our ‘Hunger’ event at The TABLE on November 5th at Coventry Cathedral was a night filled with diversity, conversation and culture.

Hunger’ brought people together from across the city to share in a series of themed conversations about what shapes and defines culture and the role that our eating styles, habits and preferences play within that. Alongside topical discussions inspired by Coventry’s proposed City of Culture 2021 bid, street food representing different areas of the World and also areas of the city centre was served.

The foods were the focal point of the evening and led the conversations on an array of many subjects into the night.

Delivering topics of conversation were City Arcadia commissioned artists  Sandra Bougerch & Ashok Mistry supporting a table of love and romance of the city. This island of conversation delivered humorous undertones on the visionary of what love is in Coventry, with ‘the tango’ performed by some guests.

Our guest speaker  Michael Barnes Wynters who is actively involved with Hull’s City of Culture programme for 2017 brought to the table, ideologies and theories of culture and how we evolve these into great experiences for the city. This was  immensely popular conversation among guests.

Jackie Haynes, part of the research&development programme for City Arcadia brought introspective view of her ‘soft joints’ project which kept guests in contemplative discussion.

These conversations proved to be truly engaging experience, as feedback from one guests states:

“In addition to the conversations that were more personal in nature, there were many professional conversations that if also caught were surprising but that was very inspiring. The potential to collaborate and meet others.  A future dance project is in discussion and this would have never happened had the evening not set things in motion.”

We would like to say a special thank you to Coventry Cathedral and to the five outstanding restaurants that worked with us to provide a truly global menu – This city fed us.

Nobody went hungry on Thursday 5th November and each restaurant continues to feed the city on a daily basis.






Best wishes,

The Arcadia Team

Cathedral hosts HUNGER at the TABLE November 5th

HUNGER arrives at Coventry Cathedral
6pm, Thursday 5th November 2015

Are you hungry and what are you hungry for?

Sunday November 1st marked one year since Artspace’s City Arcadia project Curators Laura Elliott & Michael Mayhew collaborated with Architect Yoana Krasteva to design and build the Coventry TABLE and host two meals in the City Arcade 1960s shopping precinct during the 2014 Coventry Peace Festival.

Since then you may have heard about (and hopefully had a chance to visit) the TABLE in situ whilst it has been on residency at Sir Basil Spence’s modernist Coventry Cathedral. As of June this year, it has continued to serve as an object that stimulates and promotes gatherings, meetings and conversations in the setting of this iconic location.

On Thursday November 5th, the TABLE will once again play host to a specially designed meal event called ‘Hunger’, celebrating Coventry Peace Festival 2015 and six months in residency at the Cathedral,

‘Hunger’ is a gathering that brings people together from across the city to share in a series of themed conversations about what shapes and defines culture and the role that our eating styles, habits and preferences play within that. Alongside topical discussions inspired by Coventry’s proposed City of Culture 2021 bid and , street food representing different areas of the World and also areas of the city centre will be served.

Elliott & Mayhew say:

” “Planning this event has been an utterly different experience for us than any of the City Arcadia events we have produced to date.

“The Cathedral is a wildly different environment to the City Arcade. The act of hosting our first two meals in the arcade was an act of transformation and a question about how public spaces are used and can be inhabited in the future.

“Through our ‘Hunger’ event, the intention is to bring the city and its high street into the Cathedral and to encourage discussions about how people attending feel about the future of the city, how cultures are represented, inhabit and will inhabit the city going forward. The Cathedral is an ideal location as the centre-piece of the Modernist post-war redevelopment of Coventry and an icon of the zeal and optimism about the city’s future.

“‘Hunger’ is revisiting this conversation in light of the City of Culture 2021 bid announcements and asks about who and what ‘cultures’ might be represented within that., Speaking with caterers that usually feed different people, tastes, faiths and dietary requirements we asked ‘who feeds who?’ in the city. What we’ve ended up with is a reflection of these responses in food and topics, which will be offered up on the evening by City Arcadia networks and some of the artists we are working with” ”

After inviting the World into the Cathedral, Elliott & Mayhew will be sending the TABLE and its purpose to foster more conversations back out again, by way of a limited edition dossier which acts as a flat pack manual for building the TABLE in other locations. It will be posted to arts and community organisations throughout Coventry’s sister cities following the ‘Hunger’ event.

Artspace would like to thank Arts Council England, Coventry City Council and Coventry Cathedral for supporting this event.


TOMORROW VERSUS YESTERDAY Saturday 12th September 2-4pm

Coventry the Future City - courtesy of David Rudlin

Starting from City Arcadia’s creative headquarters at 32 City Arcade, CV1 3HW
Saturday 12th September, 2-4pm

We are delighted to invite you to the following event in association with RIBA during the forthcoming Heritage Open Days weekend:

TOMORROW VERSUS YESTERDAY is a 2-hour walking tour of Coventry’s most exemplary Modernist buildings to explore their historic significance in shaping Coventry as a ‘future city’ and their role in inspiring the 10 City Arcadia artistic projects taking place between now and June next year.

The walk is hosted by City Arcadia curators Laura Elliott & Michael Mayhew with Aya Dibsi.

Aya is an Architect interested in art, art history and the symbolism of buildings. She qualified at the Budapest University of Engineering & Economics and the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Aleppo, Syria. Before arriving in the UK, Aya worked in several architectural planning, design and consultation offices, contributing to interior and exterior design of old and new buildings.

During the walk, Dossier #3 Looking & Seeing by urban planner David Rudlin will be launched.

For more information about City Arcadia see:,, @CovArtspace @ThisisMayhew, #CityArcadia