Bridge: A day of outdoor arts and engineering

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From 10am until dusk

At Shop Front Theatre, Coventry and Coventry Cathedral

Join Imagineer and OutdoorArts UK for a day of conversation and inspiration around outdoor arts and engineering

This is a day for outdoor arts professionals, producers, engineers, academics and interested audiences in which we explore the issues of creating and producing outdoor arts.

The day is inspired by Imagineer’s latest outdoor arts project, Bridge, an ambitious arts and engineering project that will lead to the creation of an iconic bridge structure for public space and a programme of performances and community collaborations. Imagineer is collaborating with exceptional artists and civil engineers Arup on the realisation of Bridge, which is also supported by Arts Council England through its Ambition for Excellence programme.

Spend a morning finding out more about Bridge and Coventry’s plans for City of Culture 2021, and discuss the opportunities and issues of creating ambitious outdoor work with a panel of distinguished guest speakers.

After lunch, explore the Festival of Imagineers with hands-on activities and performances, followed by after-dark performances and installation.

Places for this daytime event are FREE but need to be booked in advance. CLICK HERE TO BOOK.

Delegates have the option to stay into the evening for Festival of Imagineers events, some of which require separate booking - follow the links below.


Bridge: A Day of Outdoor Arts and Engineering

Schedule of the day:

10.00am - 1.30pm
Conversations and Presentations at Shop Front Theatre
38 City Arcade, Coventry CV1 3HW 

10.00am Arrival and coffee

10.15 am Welcome and introduction from Jane Hytch CEO of Imagineer and Angus MacKechnie, Executive Director of OutdoorArts UK

10.30am – 12.20pm Panel presentations and discussion, chaired by Helen Marriage, Artistic Director, Artichoke. Our Speakers are:

Dan Potra: Designer for Bridge. Dan is an Australia-based opera, theatre and large-scale event designer who designed City of the Unexpected in Cardiff 2017 and the Opening Ceremony of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018

Maggie Clarke: Director of XTRAX On touring Wired Aerial’s As the World Tipped nationally and internationally

Alan Jacobi: Managing Director, Unusual Rigging – responsible for technical production management for some of Artichoke’s major projects including Processions, Lumiere, Sultan’s Elephant; also for Piccadilly Circus Circus 2012

Pete Gunson: Artistic Director, Pif-Paf, civil engineer and artist – on creative engineering of tourable structures for outdoor performances

Julian Bracey: Director, Cirque Bijou – exploring the intersection of art and engineering within circus

12.20pm        Coffee

12.40pm        Imagineer’s Bridge project – a presentation by Artistic Director Orit Azaz

1.10pm          Coventry City of Culture welcome – Chenine Bhathena, creative director for Coventry UK City of Culture 2021

1.30pm          Networking Lunch hosted by OutdoorArtsUK


3.00 - 5.00pm
Interactive activities and performance 

Take your pick from a number of different activities and performances:

Bridge: Design Work in Progress – Our collaborators Arup have created a special Virtual Reality animation bringing together some of Dan Potra’s early design concepts – experience these from above, below and inside (Coventry Cathedral 3.00 – 5.00 pm)

Bridge R&D - An invitation to trial an interactive participatory experience for Bridge (Coventry Cathedral 3.00pm, 3.20pm, 3.40pm)

Story gathering – An invitation to join a conversation in a public space around the themes of Bridge (Coventry Cathedral, 4pm)

Sonic bike testing – a chance to trial the Buzz Bike, a newly developed sonic bike experience that Imagineer are developing with international sound artist Kaffe Matthews and Imagineer technologies as part of a planned sonic bike opera and cycle trail for 2021 (3-5pm)

Hoopla - A 23m tall sculptural installation produced by Arup in partnership with Coventry secondary schools. Hoopla is suspended 3 metres from the ground in Coventry Cathedral nave, allowing visitors to walk underneath and admire its complex engineering. More information. (Coventry Cathedral)

Rear View by IOU - A performance in which the audience rides in a open-backed double-decker bus, and the streets of Coventry become a theatre (Meet at Coventry Transport Museum, 3pm, 5.30pm. Requires separate booking, buy your ticket HERE)


Evening Events

Burning Man lecture: Attend a lecture by the distinguished co-founder of Burning Man, Harley K. Dubois, outlining Burning Man's 'secret mission' to change the world. (7pm, Coventry Cathedral. Requires separate booking, book your place HERE)

Rear View by IOU: A performance in which the audience rides in a open-backed double-decker bus, and the streets of Coventry become a theatre (Meet at Coventry Transport Museum, 7pm. Requires separate booking, buy your ticket HERE)

Childhood by Collectif Coin - Originally commissioned by Artichoke for Lumiere London in Trafalgar Square, an installation of illuminated balloons fills Broadgate, by French company Collectif Coin. More information. (7.30-11pm, Broadgate)




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