History is made by those who write the stories

Losing the City of Culture legacy programme feels like a bereavement, but what the sector is mourning is not the Trust, but the glittering story of a city lifted up and made forever better by arts, culture and creativity. Not because this story didn’t happen, but because it is currently overshadowed and in danger of being drowned out by the story of the failure of the City of Culture Trust.

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Time (and time again)

Sarah Owen reflects on their second residency at the Nest

One of the last things I said before I finished my second residency at the Nest back in July 2022 was a tongue-in-cheek promise that it wouldn’t take me three months to write my blog about my experience, after I did exactly that last time. In my defence, I didn’t lie. However, taking eight months to write it instead was not exactly my intention. But! Better late than never, and I think I can (and I will) argue that it’s sort of appropriate for a person who spent their Nest residency working on a stage musical about time to also be consistently dogged by time as a concept. 

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Don’t Touch My Hair

Rosa Francesca reflects on her Coventry Biennial Nest Residency

In 2021 I completed a Nest Residency on the subject of Black hair and the Natural Hair movement, particularly looking at how Black women’s relationship with their hair is often intruded upon, either physically by white people touching it without consent, or through unsolicited advice and comments  on its styling. My project was a cybernetic wig, using a variety of sensors to create an interactive wig that both entices and reprimands users to interact with the wig.

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a freedom i’d not felt before

Tom Simkins reflects on his recent Hatching Residency

I finally managed to apply for my Hatching residency at Talking Birds.

I wanted to try out more movement and performance related work, and also explore my synesthesia. After a few initial ideas of how I might explore this, and some helpful and supportive conversations with the Birds I set out to see how I could explore or express my relationship with my senses in synesthesia through movement.

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The Drugs Don’t Work, But the coffee does

Filmmaker Adrian Dowling reflects on his Nestival Residency

It took me more than two months to apply to do the residency. I kept putting it off because I find those kind of things very difficult, but after attending one of the F13 meetings I felt quite comfortable in the space. Duncan Whitley [a former Talking Birds Resident] was pushing me, saying “Why don’t you do it? I think it would be good for you.” So I recorded a voice application with the help of my daughter, Kady, who’s doing all the technical stuff while I’m reading off some paper because I find it quite difficult to write things down.

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Action Rayz in 3 Dimensions

Jazz Moreton and Alan Wan Wijgerden reflect on their Nest residency

Over the course of this residency, we developed a shared artistic voice that built on our individual experiences of disability. We had a great time examining our shared practice throughout this residency. Although Alan has more professional experience (an age thing, not a professionalism thing!), Jazz has a mind full of fresh ideas and solutions to almost any creative issue.

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A window of uninterrupted music

Mason Le Long Reflects on his Hatching Residency with Talking Birds

To be honest, I thought it sounded too good to be true. Talking Birds promising to pay artists to come and work in their studios for ten days, and not even asking for any finished material at the end of it? I thought there must be more to it than meets the eye.

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Finding Joy

Nicola Richardson and Marianne Taviner reflect on their Hatching Residency

We are Nicola and Maz, the Directors of Vortex Creates. Vortex is a Coventry based organisation who for nearly 15 years have specialised in igniting the imagination of audiences through transforming spaces and creating showstopping costumes.

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