Archives for the month of: February, 2011

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Coventry has always had a lot of mail passing in and out and through it. At one point, the Bishop Street sorting office handled more mail than any other in the country, and the post service has been an important part of the city’s economy since the 1920s.

Perhaps this was because the city had a lot to say, and those elsewhere had a lot to say back to the city. At any rate, there has always been such a volume of post – love letters, bills, postcards, job offers, dear Johns, good news, bad news, wedding invitations, official notifications, pay cheques, good luck cards, sorry to hear cards, and letters to Santa – flowing through Coventry that its easy to feel that the sorting offices still hum with them, even once the building has become empty.

A CITY GROWN FROM WORDS is an installation which is a reflection of deserted sorting offices everywhere. Places where words – significant or trivial, written or typed, tear-stained or computer generated – have been held and processed before spreading through the city, affecting and changing the lives of those who read them.

When: Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March 2011.

Where: 50 Bishop Street (old Oxfam Homeware Shop – down the street from the Bishop Street sorting office),Coventry, CV1 1HW.
Open: 12 – 4pm
Admission: Free

A City Grown From Words has been made with recent Performing Arts graduates from Coventry University and is supported by Coventry School of Art & Design, Coventry University, Arts Council England, and Coventry City Council through its Small Arts Grants scheme.

Please tell us about significant letters you have sent or received by calling 0845 22 55 918 (24hrs, local rate); alternatively, tweet us @birdmail or email birdmail [at] talkingbirds.co.uk with SIGNIFICANT LETTERS as the subject.

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One of these sets of pics is from the real Bishop Street sorting office and one is from the old Oxfam Homeware shop, which is where we are making A City Grown From Words – may not be too tricky to spot the difference, but we reckon the shop’s not a bad match for the sorting office – and once we have some projections, music and a bit of live action in there too…well, surely close enough?!

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We’ve got three weeks in an empty shop in Coventry to make a show marking the closure of the Bishop Street sorting office. Three weeks isn’t long – and we need your help! Please tell us about your significant letters sent or received – tell us via twitter @birdmail or email or leave a message on our phoneline: 0845 22 55 918

Cheers!

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still from Talking Birds’ 2007 film “2 letters’ (not that it’s an obsession or anything…!)