Coventry BID and The Show Windows team are thrilled to announce that the latest artists bringing world-class art installations to the city are proud Coventrians. Gary Eite, Matt Chinn, Michala Gyetvai, Sadie Aspinall and Tammy Woodrow are showcasing their artworks within a window at Primark, as well as bringing the old Debenhams window in the city back to life.
Celebrating the best of design, colour, optimism and harmony, The Show Windows programme – co-produced in partnership with Coventry City of Culture Trust, Coventry BID and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) – invites artists, architects, creatives, designers and makers to create portals to other places in shop and business windows throughout Coventry city centre.
One of the project’s key aims is to make art more accessible to the public, bringing it to the streets of the city and allowing people to enjoy and interpret it in their own way, at their own pace. Each artwork that forms part of The Show Windows project is specifically commissioned for and about Coventry, its past and present, and the people that make the city so vibrant.
Matt Chinn, a visual artist and designer, has created an electric window installation called “Creative Spark”, which can be found within the window at Primark. His bold, abstract style combines geometric shape with vivid colours to fuel the imagination and ignite positivity. “Having lived in Coventry my whole life, it has been very inspiring to see my hometown undergo such an amazing transformation for Coventry UK City of Culture 2021. I’m hoping that the recent creative transformations in the city are the beginning of a creative awakening for Coventry which will last for years to come.
At only 16 years of age, Sadie Aspinall is the youngest Spotlight artist who has created a beautiful painting called “Child in Thought”, which is situated within the old Debenhams window. She enjoys trying new forms of art to improve her skills – from street art to small and intricate pencil drawings, but always aims to explore themes that she feels are significant to her. “Much of my work seems to portray messages about childhood and identity, but I also like to leave a mystery about my pieces to allow the observer to decide on their own personal meaning.”
Educated at Birmingham Polytechnic in 3D design and currently working as a commercial interior designer, Gary Eite, has created three wood cut prints of fly overs and underpasses in Coventry, which also feature within the installation at the old Debenhams. “Coventry is a vibrant and diverse city and it’s been great to see it gradually reopen and allow people to experience its culture again. Also to witness the amount of redevelopment within the centre and ringroad – the landscape of the city is changing before our eyes.”
During lockdown, Michala Gyetvai, created 306 oil pastel drawings showcasing the changing landscape of her garden throughout the seasons and 40 of these beautiful pieces of art are now proudly on display within the old Debenhams window. Michala’s work belongs to a British romantic landscape tradition. She comments: “My landscape is a personal interpretation, an autobiographical account of an internal, emotional, poetic landscape, referencing my own femininity an ideology. Arts and culture have an important role in creating the world we live in and I’m very proud to be part of this project.”
The fifth and final artist is Tammy Woodrow, who’s selection of sculptures from her ‘Kokon Series’ stand proudly alongside the work of Michala, Gary and Sadie in the old Debenhams windows. “I think it’s wonderful that you don’t have to go to London or any other big city any more to enjoy high quality art events – it’s presented on your doorstep here in Coventry and it’s so exciting to be part of this regeneration project and to see how these positive cultural changes affect people’s lives.”
Trish Willetts, Coventry BID Director, comments: “We are thrilled to welcome such an eclectic and talented array of artists as part of this month’s Show Windows spotlight. It’s wonderful to see such amazing talent being nurtured at a local level, and to be able to display their work in two prominent locations in the city is wonderful. We are hugely grateful to our BID businesses for their continued support with this project and we can’t wait to reveal what’s coming up over the next few months!”
Charlie Levine, Curator, The Show Windows, said: “The five artists we’re shining a spotlight on this summer show the amazing creativity in the region. It’s been wonderful being able to promote the local art scene alongside the national and global artists in the rest of The Show Windows programme. I’m proud to celebrate the work of Sadie, Matt, Gary, Michala and Tammy – who have been a dream to work with and really encapsulate the best of and love of the arts in Coventry.”
Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director at Coventry City of Culture, said: “When I first arrived in Coventry back in summer of 2018 one of my ambitions was to put a creative signature through the foundations of the city, so that on any given day, you could visit the city and see incredible art across the public realm and the canvas of the city. By working with incredible artists, we have turned our sleepy streets into dynamic places that reflect our originality, history, humour and our rich human texture. Creating this buzz with our rich array of local talent is absolutely key to making our city more liveable – a great place to live, work, visit and play. The Show Windows is a chance for us to fire the imagination of our city, and to put our city’s innovation and creativity on display for everyone to see.”