Coventry Made Me
Coventry and Warwick University Partnership: Coventry Creates
Dr Victoria Barker (Coventry University)
Dr Vishalakshi Roy (University of Warwick)
Mary Courtney (independent artist)
Dana Chis (independent artist)
University of Warwick (lead)
1st June 2020 - 5th October 2020
This rapid response project investigates how the city of Coventry and its various places have influenced the identity of creative individuals of the city – and acts as the inspiration for new work by the artist Mary Courtney.
We began with an online survey asking artists and creatives, both amateur and professional, about ways in which Coventry and specific locations in the city had influenced their creative identities.
The collaborating artist explored aspects of the survey directly with several Coventry artists. After analysing the survey response data, the researchers used the film work as an additional data set to further explore place and identity issues in the context of academic literature on these themes.
The emerging themes suggest that Coventry has had a marked impact on the identity and creativity of respondents. Many physical locations and iconic buildings in the city appear to have influenced Coventry creatives – there are some notable locations that feature frequently, but there is also a ‘long tail’ of less obvious places with significant personal connotations. In addition, respondents also noted that Coventry has given them qualities such as strength and resilience, pride in the City, and a sense of community and belonging which has influenced them and their creative work.
The purpose of these commissions is to communicate university research in new, engaging and innovative ways, whilst supporting Coventry’s arts and cultural sector, seeding new relationships and networks and engaging more people with Coventry City of Culture 2021.
The specific project objectives here included:
- Conduct online survey
- Collaborate with artist to develop data set and art work
- Review relevant literature on place and creative identity
- Generate written outputs.
The work contributes to University Partnership aims and impacts, working toward the Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities that provides them with new opportunities to work together to the benefit of arts and culture throughout the region.
Project funding was allocated to local artists during a period of cultural sector difficulties due to lockdown, an important factor at many levels and a motivation to apply.
Film: Cov Made Me - part of a digital exhibition during autumn 2020.
Research outline report (part of digital exhibition)