It seems at the moment if there’s one gallery having an opening night in Coventry, then there’s two.
A few weeks ago it was the Mead and The Herbert, and the Herbert also clashed with the Coventry Transport Museum last week. Last night it was the turn of the Roots Gallery and Lanchester Gallery Projects to double date, but as they’re so close together it was possible to get to both, as quite a few of us proved, as familiar faces were spotted in both, quaffing a couple of glasses of wine.
First on my schedule was the LGP, which is staging On the Desperate And Long-Neglected Need For Small Events. Arriving a bit after 6.30pm, I found I’d missed this small event, though luckily it was repeated at 7pm.
The information tells us the title comes from the subtitle of a Barbara Vanderlinden 1990s curatorial project, and will involve LGP in a programme of “live research”. There will be lectures, readings, screenings, conversations, club nights, performances and print. Local organisations and community groups, along with artists, will be invited in to coffee mornings to help “contribute to and build a sustainable cultural ecology in Coventry.”
The first event was the singing of Sing Me a Song With Social Significance, performed by a choir of Coventry University students. It was written apparently for the 1930s musical revue Pins and Needles and was the only trade union Broadway hit. It certainly has something about it, so I was glad it got performed twice!
For details of lots of other events you could get involved in pop in for a leaflet, or see the website at http://lanchestergalleryprojects.org.uk/
For my second free drink of the night it was off to Roots gallery, for what was the launch of a solo exhibition by Dresden-based artist Jean Kirsten, and which also launched the 2012 Coventry Peace Festival and piloted the Coventry Dresden Arts Exchange.
Coventry-based artist John Yeadon founded the exchange which he said had been in his head for a long time, as he thought of other ways Coventry had exchanges with its twins. This exhibition was made possible with help from Coventry City Council Small Arts Grants Committee and the Coventry Peace Festival.
Jean Kirsten’s exhibition is called For R Laban, and follows previous work he has done on the theme of expressionist dance. He explained: “You can see here works from two series. In 2009/10 I came to see the lecturers at the Metropolitan University in London and I took photos and I transferred them into prints and I looked for titles for the prints but I didn’t want to write so I came to these Labanotation. (a system used to record and analyse motion).
“I thought these signs were really interesting so I created the signs series where I worked with the signs. The next step for me now is to translate these and bring these again into dance.”
The prints are small and interesting, each movement filling the space. The symbols from Labanotation have been used to ‘name’ them, and the signs themselves used in big black and white collages.
Jean is hoping to go to London during his visit to the UK to make more studies of Laban dance in action, but is also holding an In Conversation at the gallery on November 8, from 6-8pm.
So with the Herbert’s current exhibitions to be viewed between LGP and Roots there’s lots for the art and culture lover to see in a short stretch of Coventry city centre.