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  • Writer's pictureFraser Urquhart Media


Two new commissions have been revealed as part of Coventry City of Culture’s In Paint We Trust series. In Paint We Trust, led by Street Art Strategy in partnership with Coventry City of Culture Trust and Coventry BID, commissions street and multi-disciplinary artists to create murals in unique spaces across the city. Inspired by local history and culture, these murals in everyday spaces are designed to spark important conversation by reflecting on Coventry’s history and future.

Internationally-acclaimed Manchester based duo Nomad Clan have been commissioned to create Coventry & Warwickshire’s largest mural at New Union Street car park. Tasked with creating a tower of tales that represents the city’s past, present and future, Nomad Clan drew inspiration from Coventry’s watchmaking history. The stars and nebulae surrounding the clock face are a nod to Coventry’s first watch and clock maker Samuel Watson, who created time pieces for Isaac Newton. The flames were added in reference to the current climate crisis, and the increasing time pressure to take action. The collective, Cbloxx and AYLO, create artwork in public spaces that celebrates local history and comments on social and community issues. Using bold designs on large scales, their murals to create impact as stand out features against the local scenery. Their artwork has been featured in locations across the world, from Sweden to Flint Michigan and Mexico.

Nomad Clan said: “Coventry’s role in helping shape the world cannot be overlooked, its history is as unique as its vibrancy which serves as a mecca for a thriving multicultural society.”

Nomad Clan’s New Union Street mural

Renowned street artist Dan Kitchener has created Electric Future which lives on Well Street. The epic mural features the iconic London taxi, which is made in Coventry, set against a neon filled Japanese streetscape highlighting the car’s iconic international appeal. Heavily inspired by his travels to Japan, Dan uses influences from across the world to create unique designs that often feature bright and luminous colours.

Dan Kitchener says: “I loved painting in Coventry, beautiful city and lovely people!”

Electric Future by Dan Kitchener, Wells Street

Also joining In Paint We Trust later this month is a mural by artist Carleen De Sözer. Working with Coventry Caribbean Association, Carleen will be creating a mural that represents their heritage and legacy in the community. Opened in 1983, the Coventry Caribbean centre, previously known as The Coventry West Indian Centre, became an important space where members of the Caribbean community could come together to problem solve issues the community was facing and celebrate their heritage. Carleen De Sözer is a Birmingham born artist known for her Afrocentric, and Afrofuturistic murals. An incredibly skilled aerosol and airbrush artist, Carleen’s mission is to cultivate a culture that welcomes more black and female artists into the street art fold across the world.

Adrian Woolford, Assistant BID Manager from Coventry BID said: “The City of Culture Trust, In Paint We Trust project is the perfect fit for Coventry BID as it brightens up the walls of the city centre and creates galleries on the streets for all that are visiting.

The diversity in the work that has been produced so far for the project is fantastic, with the latest installations helping to again focus on Coventry and its rich history and heritage.

The New Union Street, Nomad Clan piece is striking and intricate in equal measures, but it isn’t until you stand back and admire the sheer scale of the work that you realise how impressive the artwork is.

Having witnessed the amazing and vibrant work of Dan Kitchener first hand in Belfast never did I think I would be part of a team bringing his fantastic art to my home town, and to incorporate a Coventry Taxi tops it off.”

Cara Pickering, Visual Arts Programme Producer at Coventry City of Culture Trust, says: “These artworks and the work yet to be completed are focused on the heritage of the city. From making to music, identity and community. These stories belong to Coventry and it is great to be able to work with the artists to introduce new audiences to the people and places of the current UK City of Culture.”

Melissa Smith from Street Art Strategy added: “It has been a pleasure to work with these artists for In Paint We Trust - the feedback we have received so far about Coventry’s latest murals has been extremely positive and there is still more to come!”

The first mural to be commissioned by In Paint We Trust was created by multi-disciplinary artist David Speed and is located at Coventry University’s Bishop Gate Student Accommodation. Known for using neon colours and creating artwork that appears vibrant and electric, this mural featuring a figure of a young child, was designed to convey hope for a brighter future. This installation was followed by a mural of Ira Aldridge, Britain’s first Black theatre manager. Created by Midlands-born artist Dreph and located at the Belgrade Theatre the large mural is inspired by an original portrait painting of Ira Aldridge as Othello, painted by Henry Perronet Briggs in 1830, which is now part of the National Portrait Gallery collection.

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