An Extraordinary Journey

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The journey of Godiva Awakes, the Artists Take the Lead commission for West Midlands began back in May 2009 with 300 words outlining the vision and a visualisation of the ideas for the project by stained glass artist, Frans Wesselman. Having won the commission Imagineer Production’s mission was to turn this incredible, eccentric, cycle powered machine and giant puppet into a reality. On paper it sounded simple –  to create a large scale puppet of Godiva who would take the hopes, aspirations and ideas  of 220 young people from across the region to London, propelled by cycle power. In practice it was the catalyst for an extraordinary, creative  journey where partnerships were forged between artists and engineers, makers and designers,  who came together to create two unique prototypes a puppet and a multi seated bike the like of which had never been made before in the UK and possibly not in the world. Once built they would have to stand up to the rigours of high profile, outdoor public performances and a 120 mile journey to London . Over three years the elements of Godiva Awakes evolved and the momentum behind the project snowballed, with an amazing range of companies from diverse sectors supporting the project with people, skills, materials and cash.

Click to enlarge images.

Following an extraordinary weekend of Awakening performances in Coventry at the end of July 2012, Godiva set out on her epic journey to London through Rugby, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Luton, Hatfield, Waltham Abbey and arriving at Waltham Forest Town Hall on Sunday 5th August.   Her quest was to deliver the young peoples’ ideas in the form of the Book of Intent to the Olympic host city.

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