John Piper at The Mead Gallery
Tuesday 1st May – Thursday 21st June 2018
There are three exhibitions planned for Coventry during 2018 that share themes and some common features. Currently the exhibition at the Mead Gallery is John Piper (1903-1992), a significant artist of the twentieth century and for Coventry. The range of his achievements are explored in the exhibition including photographs, collage, painting and fabric design with reference to his work as Official War Artist. He visited Coventry on the 15th November 1940, the day after the devastating Blitz on the city, to record the scene post bombing. Taking position in a nearby office he sketched and made drawings of the ravaged Cathedral as it still smouldered, recording gutted churches and the burnt, scorched and destroyed city.
Invited by Basil Spence in the 1950s to design and create a stained glass window with Patrick Reyntiens, Piper returned to work on the project which is now the magnificent Baptistry Window in Coventry Cathedral, consecrated in 1962. The Mead exhibition, in association with Tate Liverpool, shows Piper’s wide variety of work through early landscapes of the 1920s and 30s, through the war period and his later romantic landscapes post war.
YouTube interview about designing and constructing the stained glass Baptistry window with Patrick Reyntiens.
Graham Sutherland: Beneath the Tapestry at Coventry Cathedral
Saturday 30th June – Monday 6th August 2018
The Graham Sutherland: Beneath the Tapestry exhibition opens in Coventry Cathedral just as the Mead’s John Piper closes. The magnificent tapestry Christ in Glory in the Tetramorph designed by Sutherland is an integral part of the Cathedral, however this exhibition brings together other Sutherland works, including preparatory cartoons and the final design from which it was woven.
Celebrating the fact that entry to Coventry Cathedral is now FREE the exhibitions and beauty of the windows and tapestry can be seen at no cost.
Journeys with “The Waste Land” at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
Saturday 15th September – Sunday 18th November 2018
“The Waste Land” poem by TS Eliot is a major, groundbreaking work of literature, the themes of which are explored in the Herbert exhibition. Led by a community research group, choosing art that in some way represents these themes, ideas and a sense of the poem, the exhibition brings together work by Graham Sutherland, Jacob Epstein, Peter Blake, George Shaw, J.M.W.Turner and many others. It is a collaborative project with the Mead Gallery, Turner Contemporary and the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum led by Mike Tooby, independent curator. The planned extra events around Journeys with “The Waste Land” that are coming to the fore promise a great show, building on the two previous exhibitions and involving many community led initiatives. The exhibition explores the themes withtin Eliot’s poem of journeys and fragmentation, with reference to Coventry’s history as a city fragmented by, and rebuilt upon the ruins of war.