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Head Office: +44 (0) 1905 362 300   |   London Office: +44 (0) 208 0596 526   |   Birmingham Office: +44 (0) 121 312 3876   |  

ONE’s collaboration for Coventry’s Show Windows exhibition

Posted: 20 October 2021

ONE Creative environments (ONE), one of four RIBA chartered practices that was selected for the Show Windows exhibition, is delighted to take part in Coventry U.K. City of Culture 2021 celebrations.

Designed and constructed with a collaborative approach, combining artworks by ONE’s RIBA Chartered architects and artists Ruth Moilliet and Rachel Ella Taylor, the installation entitled ‘Peace in Perpetuity’ is made almost entirely from materials that could otherwise have resulted in landfill and is currently in place at The Botanist for all to enjoy.

The installation’s imagery recognises moments of conflict in Coventry’s past, with direct links to the city’s heritage and Coventry’s Peace Trail, and through this celebrates peace and the contrast it brings. It has carefully selected and symbolic imagery, colours, flora and fauna and has been created almost entirely from materials that might otherwise have gone to landfill.

The concept for the artwork draws on Coventry’s heritage to create a series of symbols that are used to visualise a cycle of growth, fragmentation and rebirth that is characteristic of every living thing in the natural world and fundamental to The Botanist’s floral branding.

Each of the plants in the artwork have been carefully selected: roses are a reference to the fact that Coventry was an important place during the 15th century War of the Roses. The other flowers have been chosen for their references to peace, healing, love and harmony – apple blossom, cosmos, the lotus flower and violets to name just a few.

The wings of the phoenix rising from the ashes symbolises the rebuilding of Coventry after World War II, as celebrated in George Wagstaff’s bronze statue and Coventry’s Coat of Arms. Sharp shards of glass in chaos are depicted in direct contrast to the organic and rhythmic forms of nature and represent pieces of the Cathedral’s window that were bombed during the Blitz.

Most elements of the installation are made from recycled single use household packaging and industrial materials and consideration has been given to how the artwork will be relocated and recycled afterwards.

The piece is layered onto the ‘shop window’ using vinyl and 3D elements so that it can be appreciated from all angles. The colour palette has also been carefully considered with white as the main colour and some greys. Highlights are in blue, which is Coventry’s own colour and also the colour adopted by Coventry City of Culture.

Emily Kippen, Associate Architect at ONE, said: “This has been a fantastic project. At ONE we pride ourselves on creativity and are passionate about sustainability. We wanted to create something beautiful and meaningful from materials that would have most likely resulted in landfill and for the installation to have a purpose and be reused after the Coventry U.K. City of Culture 2021 celebrations. Thank you to everyone that has made this possible and we hope it is enjoyed by many.”