7th Jul, 2022

Universities team up to fund art projects ahead of City of Culture 2021

Andy Morris 2nd Jul, 2020

ARTISTS from Coventry have been selected to receive a grant from Coventry University and the University of Warwick as part of a new project.

The grants will allow 18 local artists to continue their work during the Covid-19 pandemic through collaboration with researchers from the social sciences, arts, science and medicine from the city’s two universities.

The project, Coventry Creates, provides up to £2,000 funding to chosen projects so that they can keep producing artwork for a digital exhibition later this summer in the run up to UK City of Culture 2021.

The selected works will then kept in the Coventry City of Culture Digital Archive.

The project came about as a result of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the universities to collaborate for the benefit of arts and culture throughout the region.

The University of Warwick’s Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Jackie Hodgson said: “The Memorandum of Understanding enables the University of Warwick and Coventry University to work together, seizing the opportunity of City of Culture to benefit our region.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to cement the relationship between the two universities and align our efforts to conduct research that benefits local communities – through 2021 and beyond.

“We are thrilled to have launched Coventry Creates as 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: “The response from the arts sector was extraordinary. We are delighted as a joint board to award the commissions to a range of highly talented artists.

“We have looked at different art forms from music, literature, theatre, and contemporary dance. Artists had really thought about how they would work with a researcher and interpret the research outcomes into works of art.”

Among the projects to receive a grant is Coventry Made Me, a project led by Dr Vishalakshi Roy of the University of Warwick’s Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies which investigates how the city has influenced the identity of creative individuals of the city – and acts as the inspiration for new work by artist Mary Courtney.

Artists Emily Warner and Lucy Hutchinson will use research behind Care Companion – an online tool providing help, advice and support to carers – as inspiration for a digital artwork that will explore the role of care and support in society.

And a collaboration between the historian Professor Sarah Richardson of Warwick’s Department of History, the songwriter and founder of I’m Not A Machine Music Verity Pabla, and musical trio the Pips will explore Coventry’s suffrage history through music.

Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of Coventry City of Culture Trust said: “During lockdown we have seen artists all over the nation creating new online events, engaging the nation through their computers, tablets and smartphones.

“As we build towards City of Culture it is great to see our two world-beating universities supporting opportunities for creative collaboration between academics and artists, investing in new artistic commissions for digital distribution, that will explore a wide range of themes so important to our communities.

“I look forward to seeing the results of these partnerships and the understanding and action they inspire.”

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