The Herbert Art Gallery presents “Work on Walls,” its latest exhibition featuring contemporary British artists. This marks the second installment in the series, with the first being “Work on Windows.” It was displayed on the gallery’s exterior windows during the 2020 lockdown.

The exhibition focuses on archived items at the Phill delved into the Herbert Art Gallery’s extensive collections, initially gravitating towards the hand-drawn watch case designs. These designs, serving as inspiration for original works, are meticulously drawn in pen and ink at their actual engraving size. Additionally, items like Dippy the Dinosaur, on loan from the National History Museum for three years, and stained glass from Coventry Cathedral, provided further inspiration to the artists.

Scribbleffiti (a.k.a Carl Booth)

Carl’s motivation is usually a simple love of drawing. However, lines of thought penetrate much of his art. He is fascinated by the theme of reclamation, and most of his work includes some form of reclamation either in concept or in the materials he uses. He sees it as taking something considered useless and dead and breathing new life into it.

Annatomix

“I chose to use a variety of objects from the Herbert Art Gallery’s many collections that relate to our interactions with other animals. They are all signs of non-human life in various states of human-centred preservation. Trophies and toys, keepsakes and traps, sculptures and fossils. They are symbols of what is left and what is lost.”

Mim

“This work was inspired by a painting of the Coventry Cathedral, interior ruins by John Piper. It also includes a kaleidoscope found in the Herbert Art Gallery collection.”

Mim worked with Art Riot Collective, a community of disabled and neurodivergent artists, to create an interactive piece that replicates part of the Cathedral architecture. The piece invites visitors to explore the Cathedral through a playful, kaleidoscopic lens.

Artist Min at the Exhibition, Photograph by Emily Tyler.
Mim | Credit: Emily Tyler

Phill Blake

“Beauty is the harmonious proportion of forms.”

Phill delved into the Herbert Art Gallery’s extensive collections, initially gravitating towards the hand-drawn watch case designs. Many of these designs are rendered in pen and ink at their actual engraving size. The Coventry Ribbon also grabbed his attention because of its composition and colour. The fullness of the flowers and the flow of the pattern pulled him in and he knew it would be the main influence on the mural at the Herbert.

The Herbert Art Gallery’s Bird collection also stood out to me. I love birds and want to include more birds in my work. The collection is an excellent way to reference some of the birds that visit my garden up close and study them. I have previously used birds as symbols of freedom or ascension in my work.

Window Artists (a.k.a Luke Thrush and Anna Davies)

“The object we chose is the stained-glass window from Ford’s Hospital. Rescued from the 16th-century building after a bomb struck during the 1940 Coventry Blitz. The window stands alone now as a decorative object, elevated from its utilitarian purpose.”

Artist Window Artists at the Exhibition, Photograph by Emily Tyler.
Window Artists | Credit: Emily Tyler

Roo

“For this project, I chose to focus on the Herbert Art Gallery’s large taxidermy collection from around the world. I love animals and create animal-based art. It might be an unusual choice as a vegan, but after learning it’s now illegal to kill an animal for taxidermy in the UK, I saw an opportunity to learn more about these beautiful animals and hopefully increase others’ interest in them.”

Artist Roo at the Work on Walls Exhibition, Photograph by Emily Tyler.
Roo | Credit: Emily Tyler

Andy Council

“To coincide with Dippy the Diplodocus from NHM visiting the Herbert, I thought it would be fitting to create a Diplodocus made from various landmarks in Coventry City Centre itself. As city dinosaurs feature heavily in my work, I love looking around at different places. I’m always finding ways to turn buildings and landmarks into prehistoric beasts.”

Artist Andy Council at the Work on Walls Exhibition, Photograph by Emily Tyler.
Andy Council | Credit: Emily Tyler

The exhibition is on the first floor of the Herbert Art Gallery and runs through September 3rd and is free to view.

Furthermore, within the studio, there is a giant coloring wall inviting everyone to partake in the exhibition’s delight. This creation is courtesy of the artist Roots.

Work on Walls on the CovLife Guide.

Want to know more about the Herbert Art Gallery’s new exhibition Work on Wall, visit our Guide section for more information.

Author

  • Emily Tyler

    Having studied at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance for my BA (Hons) in Stage Management, I worked within the theatres in London until I moved to Coventry in 2010 and found that I needed other creative outlets. Using Photography I explored my new city and discovered a love of architecture, which led me to start playing with editing software on my iPad, and the use of the Apple Pencil meant that I started creating digital artwork. I joined a local blogging group, to meet new people and rediscover my love of writing which had been lost over the years. I enjoyed reviewing local restaurants, bars, as well as one-off events like coffee festivals and music.

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