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An artist’s final work has gone on display in a major international arts festival in Coventry

Matters Not by David Cheeseman, who was an artist and senior lecturer in fine art, is being displayed at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum as part of Coventry Biennial, a festival of contemporary art.

Following his death in 2018, his final work has been completed by his wife, Mhairi Vari to his specification and will be featured alongside artists from Coventry’s twin cities. 

Cheeseman, who was awarded the prestigious Henry Moore Foundation Sculpture Fellowship at Coventry University in 1996, taught several of the artists featured in the exhibition during his time as a senior lecturer at Birmingham City University and now his final work is being displayed alongside theirs across the city.

The title for the Biennial 2019 is ‘The Twin’, which explores collaboration and togetherness as well as globalisation and inequality through Coventry’s relationship with its 26 twin cities.

The festival marks 75 years since the first official twinning of modern cities, which was between Coventry and Volgograd, Russia in 1944.

Ryan Hughes, Founder and Artistic Director of the Coventry Biennial said: “We are thrilled to be bringing the work of both international and local artists to Coventry to celebrate the cities global connections.

“David’s work in particular has a personal connection to me as he was my lecturer at Birmingham City University and he also taught several of the artists on display for the Biennial.”

The artworks will be displayed in historic buildings and galleries throughout the city from Friday, October 4 until Sunday, November 24 with the exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum remaining open until Sunday, January 26.

Ryan added: “We started planning this year’s event immediately after the previous Biennial two years ago, so it’s been a long time in the making.

“We scoured Coventry and its twin cities for the best artworks relating to the theme of ‘The Twin’ and also commissioned new pieces, working with over 100 artists and 21 venues across the region.

Francis Ranford, Cultural and Creative Director at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, said: “We are thrilled to be involved with the Coventry Biennial and display such incredible works from both local and international artists.

“To be able to display David Cheeseman’s final sculpture is an honour and a fitting way to recognise his connection to the city and to the other artists involved.

“We’re proud to be able to partner with the Biennial for another year and through our shared commitment to displaying inspiring art, we are sure it will be a huge success.”