‘The artist and the professor, the mother and the wife’ began in the middle of May 2020, mid-way through the COVID-19 lockdowns in the UK and Italy where we live. The initial phase of the project was completed at the end of July 2020.
The fact that this collaboration happened at all was, like so many things in life, a matter of chance…an opportunity that came along and that both of us, for reasons that are hard to explain, felt compelled to grab with both hands. We met, entirely by chance, at the RISING Global Peace Forum that was held in Coventry Cathedral in November 2019. Laura was attending the event with her beautiful collection of body adornments. Heaven was attending to speak about her work as Director of the MIDEQ Hub which explores the relationships between migration and inequality in the context of the Global South. Our conversation was fleeting but we subsequently exchanged emails and met again in February. Although we had only been able to meet in person for a few hours before lockdowns began, we both felt certain that we would work together when the time was right.
Ironically it was the the lockdown itself that created that opportunity.
For all of its many, many challenges, the lockdown also brought with it the opportunity to spend time in one place, to be. To stop. It created time and space for both of us to breathe, to reflect on our respective challenges and achievements and to explore new ways of thinking about ourselves and our relationships with others. When the opportunity arose to apply for funding to support a collaboration between researchers and artists based in Coventry we knew that the time was right.
And so it proved to be.
For both of us the project has been a unique, inspiring and though-provoking journey. Intense. Challenging at times. But full of excitement and laughter and the pure pleasure of connecting with another human being to share ideas, think and talk, write and make. We say about more about our personal journeys and ways of working elsewhere.
For both of us this is very much the beginning of the journey not the end. This project is part of Coventry Creates – a programme funded jointly by the University of Warwick and Coventry University – and will feature in a digital exhibition later this summer. But we have no doubt in our own minds that our collaboration will continue in ways that will become known to us in due course…