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Last chance to see...

Two hugely popular exhibitions will come to a close in Coventry over the next few weeks – and people are being urged not to miss them.

UnNatural History and 2 Tone: Lives & Legacies have attracted huge interest during their run at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, but now there is only a few weeks left to visit them.

UnNatural History is a major exhibition exploring natural history and climate change, curated by Invisible Dust. It explores the role that artists have played in telling the story of the natural world in the past and present, as well as looking ahead to future.

The exhibition – which features a lab for time travellers, a mechanically constructed bird with lifelike mannerisms, a reanimation of The Jungle Book in which animals act as they would in the wild and the reconstructed scent of an extinct flower – closes on August 22.

Meanwhile, 2 Tone: Lives & Legacies, the first exhibition in the UK dedicated solely to 2 Tone music which was born in Coventry, closes on September 12.

It proved so popular during Covid restrictions that it was often fully booked when it was a ticketed event.

Now, the team at the Herbert advise visitors to arrive before 3pm to avoid missing out on seeing objects from The Specials, The Selecter and other ska-influenced bands such as Madness, The Beat and The Bodysnatchers.

Several ‘never seen before’ items have been loaned to the exhibition by the founder of the 2 Tone label and The Specials, Jerry Dammers, including the original hand-written lyrics to the iconic song Ghost Town.

It’s also a chance to see the iconic 2 Tone suit, pork pie hats worn by Roddie Radiation, Pauline Black and Neville Staple, as well as the Fred Perry t-shirt and Harrington jacket.

While no booking is required, the Herbert is still asking visitors to wear face masks and check into the venue using the Covid-19 app.

Ruark Jon-Stevens, of the Herbert, said: “These are two very different exhibitions, but each are absolutely unmissable. Both shows have received fantastic reviews and welcomed visitors from across the country.

“With just a few weeks left, now really is the last chance for anyone who hasn’t visited yet to see these major exhibitions – a key part of the Herbert’s UK City of Culture programme.”


Installation images by Garry Jones.

2 Tone: Lives & Legacies has been organised in partnership with Coventry Music Museum. Guest curators: Simon Reynolds, Cory Barrett, Pete Chambers, Jennifer Otter Bickerdike and Daniel Rachel.

UnNatural History has been publicly funded by Coventry City Council, the Wellcome Trust and National Lottery funded by Arts Council England.