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Coventry City Centre
Until Sun 1 May 2022

The Show Windows

Sat 15 May 2021 to Sun 1 May 2022
Coventry City Centre
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The Show Windows is co-produced in partnership with Coventry City of Culture Trust, Coventry Business Improvement District and the Royal Institute of British Architects. Funded by Arts Council England.

The Show Windows

Following a year where we have mainly been gazing out of our windows, we are now inviting you to look in. 

Once upon a window…

As part of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, artists, designers, architects and makers are transforming Coventry city centre, turning shop windows into portals to fantasy worlds and mindscapes.

These site-specific artworks, framed behind the window glazing, by local and international artists will act as picture book pages and mirrors in which to see new narratives and reflections of ourselves and the city. 

As we re-join public spaces after a year being at home, The Show Windows aims to inspire hope, adventure and imagination, inviting us to rediscover multi-faceted Coventry, ever-evolving and home to diverse and creative communities and businesses, and its people.

You can scan the artwork with the Smartify app and step into The Show Windows portal to find out more.

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You can see 'Cov as Oz' at these four locations in Coventry -

Apps Living 28-34 Corporation Street, Coventry CV1 1GF
BBC CWR Priory Place, Hales St, Coventry CV1 5SA
Coventry Building Society 19-20 High St, Coventry CV1 5QN
Transport Museum and Esquires Coffee Millennium Place, Hales St, Coventry CV1 1JD

Latest artworks on display from Saturday 10 July - 

Coventry Phoenix Priding by Adam Nathaniel Furman at 11-12 Bull Yard, Coventry CV1 1LH
Infinity Doors by MAMIMU (June Mineyama-Smithson) at 91-101 Lower Precinct, Coventry CV1 1DE (Has been taken down)
Gensler, produced by RIBA West Midlands, at UK City of Culture Shop at 31 - 35 Hertford St, Coventry CV1 1LF

August The Show Windows: Spotlight - Freedom

Sadie Aspinall, Gary Eite, Michala Gyetvai, Tammy Woodrow at Debenhams, Smithford Way, Coventry CV1 1QX

Matt Chinn at Primark, 6 Cross Cheaping, Coventry CV1 1HG

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We are excited to be working with other partners to realise our Coventry City Centre, national and international shop window takeover, including SqW:Lab and Tarq in Mumbai, Quiet Down There and Crafts Council.

Image: The Show Windows illustration by Ben Javens.

 

August The Show Windows: Spotlight - Freedom

For August 2021, The Show Windows spotlights five local artists who produce dynamic, emotional artworks that are creating a visual language that profiles a local Coventry dynamism and creativity. Each artist encourages us to think about our place and role in Coventry, our communities, public spaces and the creative legacy of City of Culture.

Gary Eite’s prints, full of line and colour, celebrate the best of the city’s style and architecture. Gary created these works when he rediscovered his love of making, and of Coventry’s fly overs, during lockdown. 

The sculptural piece by Tammy Woodrow reminds us of the street furniture we encounter everyday as we traverse the city. Her works invite us to become aware of their space, and our own, in society and the impact we can have on the spaces we occupy. 

Sadie Aspinall, our youngest artist at 16 years old, displays a thought-provoking artwork produced with skill that surpasses her age. This drawing, based on a photograph she took of her sister, is filled with tension as we wait for the young girl's expression to move into the next phase of her thought – is she angry, sad, or confused? We pause and stare in anticipation. 

 

Another lockdown artwork is by Michala Gyetvai. The drawings displayed make up only a 40 of the 306 intricate drawings she made daily during lockdown. The patterns that unintentionally emerge when displayed in this manner highlight the changing of the seasons, reminding us of textiles, machinery and Coventry’s engineering past, as well as the creative endurance and hopefulness that characterises our city. 

Matt Chinn's distinct graphic style represents pure celebration: of colour, design, the edges and lines found within Coventry’s architecture, the city’s flow and future. This uplifting piece tells the story of Coventry, the City of Culture year and the local creative community. 

Latest Show Window Displays from 10 July

Coventry Phoenix Priding by Adam Nathaniel Furman

This window installation by Adam at The Yard is a colourful celebration of the spirit of Coventry, a city ever rising from the flames to reinvent, to improve, innovate and celebrate its citizens. The works' harmony of colours, shapes and architectural form are a true celebration of the best of british design right now, a nod to Coventry’s architectural past, and a true reflection of Adam’s unique style.

This window invites you to see Coventry in a different light, one of pride, hope and harmony. And to see, reflected in windows all around the city centre, the wonderful architecture and light found within Coventry.

Infinity Doors by MAMIMU (June Mineyama-Smithson) (has been taken down)

This window installation by MAMIMU at New Look prompts true optimism from its viewers by the artist's purposeful use of specific colours and movements to trigger optimism in our brains. The harmony within this window is found via the digital animation of doors opening and closing, revealing new lands and graphic spaces.

Infinity Doors invites people to embrace the unknown to step towards harmony, as our brains are flooded with optimism. When one door closes, another opens to reveal another graphic landscape, a metaphor for culture in Coventry for City of Culture.

Gensler, produced by RIBA West Midlands, at UK City of Culture Shop

The Show Windows programme is excited to be working with RIBA West Midlands to produce four windows in Coventry for City of Culture. The first of these four windows is by Gensler, a global superstar architect practice. Their window is a playful installation encouraging interaction and exploration of Coventry’s twinned city history. Coventry was the first city to ever be twinned with another, this innovation and awareness of linking people together is a reflection of the city, its citizens and of the power of art and architecture.

Here, Gensler invites audiences into the UK City of Culture Shop to move the blocks and create new stories or find new links (twins) within the work, whether it be colour combinations, words or places.

Launch Project

Cov as Oz by Ben Javens

To launch the programme, The Show Windows curator, Charlie Levine, has commissioned West Midlands based illustrator, Ben Javens, to re-imagine the Coventry skyline as the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz books.

The Show Windows is inspired by Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum’s book about shop window design and follows on from the success of RIBA’s Regent Street Windows project in 2018. Baum’s term, ’show windows’ has inspired the project and the brief to architects and artists, to create immersive pieces that invite audiences to journey to other places, and to celebrate the locations and people that will help us display the artworks.

Discover Ben’s illustrations of 'Cov as Oz' displayed around Coventry city centre and in previous UK City of Cultures - Liverpool and Hull from mid-May 2021.

PHOTO GALLERY

An introduction from curator Charlie Levine

Using Smartify: Scan the artwork to unlock extra content

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