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.

CHI BAR FED US https://www.facebook.com/eat.chibar/?fref=ts

DRAPERS FED US https://www.facebook.com/Drapers-Bar-Kitchen-142982748392…/…

MY DHABBA FED US https://www.facebook.com/MyDhabbaCoventry/?fref=ts

A.G.G. FED US https://www.facebook.com/aggsworld/?fref=ts

SULTAN FED US https://www.facebook.com/sultanturkishrestaurantcoventry/…

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
Bookings: curators@coventry-artspace.co.uk

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: www.city-arcadia.co.uk, www.facebook.com/MichaelLauraCityArcadia, @CovArtspace @ThisisMayhew, #CityArcadia

WELCOME TO THE FUTURE: City Arcadia Commissions Now Living

Following our official WELCOME TO THE FUTURE City Arcadia launch event on Friday 31st July, the creative ‘proposition’ projects that will be taking place throughout Coventry’s pedestrianised precincts and Modernist vistas between August 2015 and June 2016 are now live to view online.

We are delighted to announce the artists working in collaboration with Laura Elliott & Michael Mayhew over the next year are:

Lauren Heywood
Martin O’Brien
Amelia Crouch
Sandra Bouguerch and Ashokkumar Mistry
Justin Wiggan and Creative Health
Mark Greenwood and Cathy Butterworth
Jessie Brennan
Spencer Graham
Rob Hamp
Sadie Hennessy

Over the forthcoming weeks and months, more information and event details associated with these projects will emerge. In the mean time see https://city-arcadia.co.uk/insite-summer-autumn-15/ for our current events programme.

As part of artist Ryan Hughes’ outdoor sculptural installation ‘Marking the Internet and the Physical’ located in the covered courtyard of the City Arcade (Coventry, CV1 3HW) until September 2015, visitors can also see large scale versions of the commissioned artist images, with QR codes linking directly to the online information.

A list of the 13 Research & Development projects running alongside the main commissions will also be presented on this website shortly.

For regular updates and news see www.Facebook.com/MichaelLauraCityArcadia or Tweet @CovArtspace, @thisismayhew, #cityarcadia

For enquiries email curators@coventry-artspace.co.uk

LAUNCH INVITE: Welcome to the Future

Launch Event on Friday 31st July 2015, 6pm-10pm
At City Arcadia, City Arcade, 32 City Arcade, Coventry, CV1 3HW

On Friday July 31st from 6pm onwards, Artspace Curators Laura Elliott and Michael Mayhew invite you to join them in Coventry’s City Arcade for the City Arcadia project launch event ‘WELCOME TO THE FUTURE’.

During this very special evening, Elliott & Mayhew will introduce the creative practitioners that they will be collaborating with on the 10 creative ‘propositions’ that will be taking place throughout Coventry’s pedestrianised precincts and Modernist vistas between August 2015 and June 2016.

In the covered court yard of the City Arcade, artist Ryan Hughes will mark the launch of these 10 new projects with the presentation of his outdoor sculptural work ‘Marking the Internet and the Physical‘.

Marking the Internet and the Physical is an installation of 10 ambiguous markers, 10 signs that will occupy the physical space of Coventry’s City Arcade shopping precinct. The markers, amongst other way finding devices, reference the pins from google maps and speak in the same language as much of the corporate signage and advertising used in shopping environments.

The exhibition is as temporal and ephemeral as the internet and indeed, as corporeal public spaces; a fitting reminder that the City Arcade is due for demolition and redevelopment in the near future and an opportunity to point elsewhere; each hanging sculpture will act as a way-marker to one of the ten City Arcadia proposition projects taking place over the next year. After the launch, Hughes’ exhibition will stay in situ until mid-September 2015.

Elliott & Mayhew say:

” City Arcadia is an extraordinary culture adventure for Coventry.

It’s been an immense first year with projects like building a river in our City Arcadia building with local artist Kate Hawkins, modelling the city centre out of plasticine with Wolfston Economic prize winner David Rudlin and creating ‘The Coventry TABLE’ with architect Yoana Krasteva, which is now in residence at Coventry Cathedral, adding to the other iconic fixtures and fittings that make it one of the country’s most unique Modernist buildings.

“After an invigorating commissioning process we’re now really excited to be introducing the people and projects that we’ll be hosting through to June 2016.

Welcome to the Future!

“We are commissioning some the UK’s most exciting, curious, challenging and innovative artists in order to truly open the doors to new cultural offerings. We have some captivating, memorable, humorous, visually stunning and soulful projects coming up and this totally free event in the City Arcade is a perfect moment to see who and what is arriving into the city.”

A public exhibition of the City Arcadia ‘propositions’ is now live at Coventry’s inspirational former Architecture & Planning Offices: the Glass Box Gallery on Earl Street in the city centre.

Elliott & Mayhew tell us:

“If anyone would like to view the exhibition of the propositions at the Glass Box before our launch event, they can do so by booking via curators@coventry-artspace.co.uk and we’ll look forward to showing them around”.



This project is generously supported by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts funding, Coventry City Council and other local partners and supporters. The launch bar is provided by Inspire cafe bar.

The TABLE at Coventry Cathedral

“The TABLE”, a project with Yoana Krasteva, moves into Coventry Cathedral

City Arcadia is a two-year (June 2014-2016) programme of creative commissions responding to the past, present and imagined future of Coventry city centre with Artspace, Coventry.

It invites people to collaborate with curators Laura Elliott & Michael Mayhew on a series of commissioned ‘propositions’ that celebrate Coventry as a historical test bed for new ideas and innovations and consider the Modernist architectural vision of Coventry’s post-war centre; building a futuristic city that cultivates “the total, harmonious, physical, spiritual and intellectual wellbeing of a city’s inhabitants“.

The TABLE is a City Arcadia commission and collaboration between the project curators and architect Yoana Krasteva, a recent graduate from Coventry University. Elliott & Mayhew worked with Yoana to design and build a table that would specifically bring people together and celebrate the city’s unique role as a city of Peace, Reconciliation & Equality.

The TABLE was constructed with artists and volunteers and was launched for Coventry’s 2014 Peace & Reconciliation Festival, when the 32ft long table was located in City Arcade for two nights and fed 60 people with Egyptian food provided by ‘Cleopatra’s’ restaurant.

Following the success of these Peace Festival events, the Very Revd John Witcombe, Dean of Saint Michael’s Cathedral Coventry has invited The TABLE to undertake a four month residency in the Cathedral as a participatory installation. It was installed the week of Monday 15th June and will become the focus of a series of public events and discussions, including two collaborative dining events that will bring together representatives from the diverse communities that make Coventry what it is.

Elliott & Mayhew say “The TABLE becomes a new and unique iconic object within one of England’s largest pieces of public art, described at the time of its build as ‘A Cathedral for the atomic age’ and recognised today as the public’s favourite 20th Century building. Coventry Cathedral is a land mark Modernist statement and still ranks as one of England’s most progressive & iconic religious sites. We can’t imagine a better location for The TABLE to reside and bring people together for food, conversation and nourishment.”

“A Building for the Future, A TABLE for the Now.”

There will be a free ‘Meet the Architect’ event with Yoana Krasteva and curators Laura Elliott & Michael Mayhew at Coventry Cathedral from 1:30pm to 3:30pm on Saturday 1st August. At all other times entrance to the Cathedral is £6 (£5, under 18’s free). Gift Aid entitles free returns for one year.

Futureday in Pictures

On Monday June 8th 2015, City Arcadia curators Laura Elliott & Michael Mayhew, with Artspace staff, volunteers and Board members, welcomed 23 creative practitioners and additional partners to “Futureday”.

Futureday was dedicated to the future of the City Arcadia project and to consider and exhibit some of the Propositions the curators had received via the recent O P E N call. During the day, invitees were given the opportunity to investigate the city and sites in which the future City Arcadia projects might take place, further their ideas with the curators and to meet some of the other people that have started a conversation with City Arcadia.

The day was centred around a public exhibition of the City Arcadia Propositions at the Glass Box, Coventry’s original 1952 Architecture & Planning department. The Glass Box is the site where the scale models of Coventry’s new city were put on display, as a Proposition of what the city was going to be. It was a revelation in the democracy of city planning and so ideal to share ideas about City Arcadia and the future. The day concluded with a shared meal at the City Arcadia project space in the City Arcade shopping precinct.

The Futureday exhibition continues at The Glass Box, Earl Street, Coventry until August 1st 2015 and is open to viewings by appointment. To book a viewing email curators@coventry-artspace.co.uk.

With thanks to everyone that participated, My Dhabba Indian Street Food Restaurant, Lisa, Kristiana and Tara, Nicola, Jonathan and Mindy.

O P E N CALL: Enter Optimism with City Arcadia

Laura Elliott & Michael Mayhew are now seeking to commission several creative ‘propositions’ as part of an O P E N call, for realisation between July 2015 and June 2016.

Please download the O P E N CALL for creative propositions – City Arcadia, Coventry, UK for more information.

We ask that you read City Arcadia Dossier #1 before responding to the call.

There is also a library of images available from the ‘Welcome to the Future’ page for people who are interested in making a ‘proposition’.

The deadline is 12pm on Wednesday 13th May. To start a conversation with City Arcadia now email your responses to: curators@coventry-artspace.co.uk

Looking and Seeing: Building Coventry

David Rudlin’s published Dossier will be launched at a City Arcadia event soon. In the mean time see http://www.city-arcadia.co.uk for details of our O P E N call inviting ‘propositions’ like David Rudlin’s Looking & Seeing residency to take place between July this year and June 2016.

Climax City

Last year I was fortunate to be an artist in residence for a week, something that planners don’t often get to do. This was part of The Arcadia programme in Coventry, curated by Laura Elliott and Michael Mayhew of Artspace. The outputs from the week have been published as a dossier based on the following text….


Town PlanningIn 1940 the town planner Thomas Sharp was commissioned by Pelican books to produce a book simply called ‘Town Planning’. The aim of the Pelican imprint – which was owned by Penguin – was to ‘inform rather than entertain’ by exploring important issues of the day. ‘Town Planning’ sold more than 250,000 copies during the war, tapping into the concerns, of a significant number of people who shared its belief that; ‘town planning is an attempt to formulate the principles that should guide us in creating a civilised background for human…

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