Herbert Art Gallery to be guest venue hosting Coventry Biennial

A four-month celebration of art will head to Coventry and Warwickshire venues in October, bringing together works from global artists as well as local makers.

The works of 15 renowned artists and groups will be exhibited across the region as the Coventry Biennial returns – with stunning artworks, sculptures and a host of free events and creative workshops kicking off on Friday, October 6.

This year’s exhibition, which explores humanity’s relationship to the natural world, will run until 14 January 2024, with works on show at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, The Old Grammar School and the new Delia Derbyshire building at Coventry University – as well as the Mead Gallery at Warwick Arts Centre and Compton Verney.

The fourth Coventry Biennial is curated by Ryan Hughes, Anneka French, and Dr Ian Sergeant with support from Emily Gardner and curators from partner venues, and will feature Midlands-based artists Janet Tryner, Jo Gane, Paul Lemmon, and Ania Bas alongside international artists including Dinh Q. Lê, A History of Frogs, Can Altay and Clémence Lollia Hilaire.

As well as providing a forum for international artists, curators and professionals to exchange ideas, organisers hope the Biennial will spark a passion for arts with audiences, with a range of events from creative writing workshops, a film screening by a Turner Prize nominated artist, and tours of Coventry’s waterways and nature trails all available on a pay-what-you-can basis.

The exhibition’s title, …like a short cut through the brambles, is inspired by the work of Coventry-based poet Antony Owen.

Ryan Hughes, Artistic Director and CEO, Coventry Biennial said: “We’re delighted to be announcing the programme for the fourth iteration of Coventry Biennial. 

“It takes several years to develop each of our Biennial programmes, and this moment, where we can share the work that we’ve been doing with artists, curators and galleries from the region, across the UK and from around the world is always really exciting! 

“Included in this year’s Biennial are many opportunities for getting involved in making art, trying new creative activities and exploring the city and surrounding area.”  

Marguerite Nugent, Director at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, said: “We are thrilled to be one of the venues hosting the Coventry Biennial. Ryan and the team have brought together a really diverse selection of work and are delivering an accompanying events programme that will excite art enthusiasts and draw new audiences from across the region and beyond.”

Bedworth-based artist Jo Gane, who will be exhibiting at Compton Verney Art Gallery, said: “It has been great to be supported by Coventry Biennial and Compton Verney to make new portraits in Nuneaton and Bedworth, the wealth of stories that people have shared throughout the project have taught me a lot about our local history and also illuminated what I knew from living in the area about what the place means to people. 

“I’d like to thank all the people who came forward to have portraits made for being so warm and welcoming in sharing their memories which made the project such a pleasure to work on. The project has also highlighted a wealth of artistic activity in Nuneaton and has made me aware of arts and heritage organisations doing great work on our doorstep.”

Alongside a diverse range of events for visitors of all ages, Coventry Biennial will also present a selection of industry-focused events in partnership with Coventry University, European Artistic Research Network and the University of Warwick.

To see the full programme visit www.coventrybiennial.com

Image: Dinh Q. Le Chincha, Norte Island. Photo courtesy of Artangel and the artist.