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The Herbert invited five contemporary artists to create work

Socially distanced art? We have just the exhibition for you! ‘Work on Windows: The Herbert in a new Perspective’ is an exhibition produced in response to the artwork created and displayed in the windows of thousands of homes during the recent lockdown.

Each commission is directly painted, drawn or stuck onto the external windows which overlook the Herbert terrace on Jordan Well and is viewable without having to enter the building. The exhibition provides access to art for individuals who may not feel comfortable entering public buildings but still want to view art offline.

The five artists come from varied backgrounds; their styles feature delicate linework, unique illustrations, fantastical creatures, abstract forms and more. The inspiration for all commissions derives from forty visual art and social history items within the Herbert’s own collection and will bring an exciting newfound perspective to familiar objects.

The artist behind 100 polaroid photographs on the ground floor window was inspired by a sheep skeleton that has been in the Herbert’s collection since 1963. Tarla Patel produced work that uses large recognisable features and transforms them into imaginative geometrical patterns and includes augmented reality material.

Two figures fly across the windows above her work on a plane-like swan. Well-known graffiti artist Kid30 combined imagery and ideas from different objects and artworks to directly paint this bold and instantly recognisable piece onto the smooth surface. The work was inspired by multiple items from the museum’s collection, even including a Chinese porcelain jar – can you spot it?

Evie Kendrick, a 15-year-old digital artist based in Coventry, crafted a narrative on her window. She used a mummified cat within the collection to pay tribute to the animal’s life, as well as its current location within the Herbert’s storage area, where it’s surrounded by many other creatures.

Similarly, Claire Scully was inspired by painted creatures within the collection. The artist, a multi-disciplinary illustrator, invites visitors to discover exotic environments created in response to the sense of wonder one feels when discovering a new piece of artwork that captures one’s imagination.

As part of ‘Work on Windows’ visitors can also experience one of the museum’s most famous pieces framed in a new way. Thomas Cardiff is giving a Renaissance artist’s composition a modern twist and said: ‘I believe such images continue to speak to artists now, as they have done over the centuries.’

Trish Willetts, Coventry BID Director said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming another fantastic cultural event into our great city. Not only does it showcase wonderful pieces of art by some incredibly talented individuals, but it allows people to view them in a unique and – most importantly – safe, way.”

‘Work on Windows’ is viewable at any time, however, visibility of some of the artworks varies due to reflections and weather conditions that change throughout the day.