Artist Morag Myerscough has been working with Coventry City Council
and Creative Giants to breathe new life into one of its central public spaces as part of a major creative regeneration programme in advance of the City Centre South scheme. With Coventry hailed City of Culture for 2021, Myerscough has installed her vibrant artwork Endless Ribbon Connecting Us in the canopy of Hertford Street. Transforming the space with the bold simplicity of light and colour, Myerscoughs dramatic installation works in symbiosis with the existing architecture.
Looking deeper into the shared cultural history and heritage of the city, Myerscough took inspiration from Coventry Cathedral, where during her exploration and research she was particularly taken by the stained-glass window by John Piper and Patrick Reyntiens. Ribbon weaving was Coventry's main industry from the early 1700s to the 1860s. The artwork wraps around the inside of the building in the form of a continuous ribbon with no start or finish. Myerscoughs use of colour and natural light aim to uplift a place where even with gloomy skies, the colours radiate down a warm glow.
By tapping into the healing properties of light, colour and plants, Myerscough is one of many artists concerned with how careful regeneration and renewal of public spaces can play an innovative role in nurturing a sense of collective wellbeing through the use of art and nature in the everyday. Throughout the pandemic, her work has focused on bringing people together by creating moments of unexpected joy, aiming to make public spaces which are uplifting and show that we are feeling the same and that we are connected even though we are being kept apart.
I experienced a desire for colour in the city and I wanted to get it in the streets. Plus the simplicity of light and colour is always so magical in every location. Community is at the heart of every project I do. We wanted to change perceptions of space by transforming the canopy walkway with fresh bold colour and an abundance of plants. Working with the food traders and surrounding shops, together we wanted to make a new destination for everyone that brings joy to an area that needed some love. Morag Myerscough
In Our Land in the Making, a popular book from 1966, The town of the future is how Coventry was described a model of the brave new post-war world. Fifty-five years on, Coventry is toasting its status as the 2021 UK City of Culture, through artworks, installations and experiences to regenerate, reinvigorate and build legacy. By exploring the role of makers and galleries in urban regeneration, the project aims to bring life back to the heart of the city.
Myerscoughs strong visual vocabulary sits perfectly within this, demonstrating how art has the power to inspire, stimulate and promote new dialogue. Inspired by pattern, light and colour, her work is rooted in creating a sense of joy and belonging for all those who encounter it. From schools and hospitals to cultural hubs and town centres, Morag transforms public spaces by creating engaging experiences for everyone. Here, in Endless Ribbon Connecting Us, like a welcoming gateway the installation creates an exciting moment of arrival for those entering the city via the train station, giving the walkway, the neighbourhood and Coventry a true sense of place.
Thanks to Morag Hertford Street is now an inspiring reminder to be bold and brave. I remember when I first walked through Coventry city centre with her, listening as people commented on her colourful, rainbow dress. At this point we both knew that Coventry was ready to take a step like this.
Endless Ribbon Connecting Us is a game changer for Coventrys public realm and has worked out even better than we could have expected. Creative Giants are thrilled that the people of Coventry have a chance to regularly experience the positivity and vibrancy of Morags work and that she was able to contribute to the lasting legacy of City of Culture 2021 in this way. Simon Vaughan, Creative Giants Managing Director