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Artists taking the lead: West Midlands

  • Date: 16 May 2011
  • Artform: Combined arts
  • Area: Midlands
Drawing of giant lady on horse powered by cyclists Original concept drawing for Godiva awakes, Imagineer Productions

Godiva Awakes, Imagineer Productions

Imagineer Productions will bring West Midlands icon Lady Godiva to life as a spectacular 10 metre-high carnival puppet.

The project is part of Artists taking the lead, a series of 12 public art commissions across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Arts Council England is delivering the project in partnership with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Creative Scotland and the Arts Council of Wales.
Built from aluminium and carbon fibre, Godiva will be a moving, breathing monument. She will be dressed for her journey into the 21st century in a coat crafted by local artists, chronicling the West Midlands' industrial and engineering heritage, and complemented by undergarments designed by fashion designer Zandra Rhodes.
A spectacular performance will mark the 'awakening' of Lady Godiva in Coventry city centre in the summer of 2012. Powered by 50 cyclists, she will join 2,000 dancers, actors, aerialists, musicians, pyrotechnicians and carnivalists in a processional performance. On the last day of Coventry's Godiva Festival in July 2012, Godiva will leave the city and journey to London to help celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

About the artists

Imagineer Productions is an independent company that produce large-scale outdoor events, carnival and site specific theatre. Based in Coventry, the team have a wealth of creative arts experience and have revived and reimagined the Coventry Carnival (now called the Godiva Carnival). Recent commissions include the official opening of the City's Ricoh Arena with the Made in Coventry event in 2007, Celebrating Coventry, a cultural showcase to mark the city hosting the UK School's Games in 2007 and a programme of events for the National Holocaust Memorial Day for 2009. 

The panel

All of the winning Artists taking the lead projects were chosen by a specially selected panel. 

The West Midlands panel felt that 'Godiva Awakes' had a strong idea at the heart of it, which would represent the skills and creativity of the  region and reflect the values of the Cultural Olympiad.  The panel were excited by the participatory opportunities that would be offered to artists and young people throughout the region and the partnerships, particularly with Coventry City Council and local businesses that were already in place.  Finally the panel welcomed the opportunity to link activity in the West Midlands to London 2012 through the journey that Godiva will take from Coventry to London, providing a large scale spectacular event for audiences in the West Midlands and beyond. 

Read the Artists taking the lead, West Midlands panel biographies.

Visit the Artists taking the lead page to find out about the other projects taking place across the UK.