The Pod, Coventry City Council’s award-winning mental health social brokerage and cultural hub, has been awarded a Heart of England grant to develop underGROWTH, a year-long series of eco-artistic events to change the way people relate to the city’s environment and their mental health.
underGROWTH is the next phase of the DIALOGUE programme which brought Scratch the Surface festival to Coventry. Local curators Lauren Sheerman and George Ttoouli will be working in collaboration with The Pod's programmes, Time Union, Food Union and DIALOGUE.
The Pod will host a series of radical mini-residencies engaging with growing, food, culture and community resilience by using art and creativity to open up how we relate to the city we live in.
On Sunday 20 October there will be a mini-launch celebrating Apple Day which was founded by Common Ground in 1990 to celebrate the variety of apples grown in the UK and “the richness and diversity of landscape, ecology and culture”.
Artist Yva Jung will present her work ‘Apple, Pose, Pause’ an apple-themed performance intended to stimulate our imaginations and start conversations.
Alix Villanueva will be Artist in Residence at the Pod as part of Coventry Biennial. She will continue her research into the intersection of ecological interconnectedness and folklore, with events in early October and late November.
In February Kirsten Norrie aka MacGillivary will be presenting at a Nan Shepherd event, celebrating Scottish landscapes and literature. Kirsten scored the soundtrack to the film By Our Selves starring opposite Toby Jones.
Also confirmed to collaborate are Invisible Dust, scientific expertise from Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology and Water Resilience (CAWR) and The British Science Association.
Cllr Mal Mutton, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “Mental Health is an issue for many of us in today’s society so I’m delighted the creativity of the Pod will be used to such great effect as part of Coventry’s City of Culture. This looks like such an exciting programme of events.”
Amanda Roberts, Programme Manager – Environment and Green Futures for City of Culture Trust, said: “underGROWTH is a creative fusion of arts and the natural environment, feeding local artists and communities with opportunities to learn, play and grow. At Coventry City of Culture Trust we recognise POD’s vital part of the cities creative and wellbeing ecosystem, engaging those from disadvantaged communities often excluded from mainstream arts and culture. This programme of work is building towards 2021 where we aim to deliver the most environmentally friendly City of Culture year yet.”