Festival of Imagineers highlights announced

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We’re excited to reveal highlights of the Festival of Imagineers 2018!

This is the fifth edition of the Festival of Imagineers, Coventry’s annual festival of art, design and engineering. This year visitors can walk alongside a large-scale balloon and sound installation, wonder at the spectacle of 1000 hoops suspended in Coventry Cathedral, board a converted double-decker bus that turns the city into a stage and play on the streets in our Festival finale.

Child Hood (image Tara Rutledge)

A highlight of the 2018 Festival, we fill Broadgate with a cloud of luminous balloons, wafting in space, with the installation Child Hood from Collectif Coin (France). Originally commissioned by Artichoke for Lumiere London in Trafalgar Square, the balloons move gently in the wind in the city square, introducing an element of chaos into this otherwise meticulously ordered and mesmerising sound and light composition.

Throughout the Festival Coventry Cathedral will host Hupla, an installation that brings Imagineer together with Arup and four Coventry schools as they create a unique structure made out of 1000 hula-hoops.

Hula-hoops are also the order of the day on Saturday 22 September as artists Julia Snowdin and Sarah Middleton bring Hoop Mania to Coventry. Play inside domes created from hundreds of hula-hoops, see these installations change over the day and of course everyone should try out a hula-hoop for themselves.

Hoop Mania

Also at Coventry Cathedral, Imagineer launch their latest large-scale commission, Bridge. Artistic director Orit Azaz, designer Dan Potra, choreographer Corey Baker and engineers from Arup will share creative conversations, performance-based activities and experiments, story gathering and virtual reality presentations. Festival goers are invited to come along and contribute to the creative development of the project.

Rear View from IOU is an interactive experience where the streets of Coventry become part of the performance. Board a custom-converted double decker bus as it becomes a mobile auditorium that turns the City into a stage, taking audiences on an unforgettable journey where familiar and not so familiar places are brought to life.

Take a ride in a converted bus with Rear View

The Festival finale on Saturday 22 June invites everyone to come and play in public spaces. Join Festival favourites Pif-Paf as they create an explosive painting spectacle; test the newest bike developed for Imagineers’ Likable Bikeable project – which audiences can find out all about during Festival week in the Herbert Museum & Art Gallery – and take a sonic bike ride as you are propelled along in a cargo bike listening to a specially commissioned musical composition by sound artist Kaffe Matthews. Jump on board one of Imagineer’s Cyclopedia’s and take a trip through Coventry University, which celebrates 175 years of teaching this year.

Experience the Astronauts’ Caravan, a 360 degree fully rotational caravan, and choreograph your own dance – for the whole world to see online – with The Dance WE Made by Casson and Friends, no dance experience necessary.

Carmen Funebre by Teatr Biuro Podrozy

The Festival culminates in a celebration of Imagineer’s twenty-year collaboration with outdoor arts company, Teatr Biuro Podrozy. We mark the WWI commemorations with Carmen Funebre, the company’s most iconic performance, which has toured almost 50 countries world-wide. Based on the company’s research with refugees from the former Yugoslavia during the brutal Bosnian conflict in the 1990s as well as other outbreaks of nationalism and intolerance, Carmen Funebre is a visceral and brutal expose of the horrors of war.

Jane Hytch, Chief Executive of Imagineer comments,“The programme for our fifth edition of the Festival of Imagineers is both exciting and challenging. We will bring together people from across the city with artists, designers and engineers to imagine new projects and new ways of working – either in the moment as we create structures out of hoops or for the future with projects like Bridge.

“We will bring some wonderful installations to Coventry which we hope will captivate people’s imagination and provide opportunities for people to come out and play in the city centre. We look forward to welcoming everyone in September.”

Festival of Imagineers is supported by Arts Council England, Coventry University, Great Places, The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, City of Culture 2021, Arup, Medwell Hyde, IDP, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Premier Group, Ramada and Coventry BID.

Full programme details and booking information will be released in July. Check www.festivalofimagineers.co.uk for latest details.