2nd Dec, 2021

Frog-inspired display more than just window dressing at former IKEA site

COVENTRY’S former IKEA site is showcasing its new role as a centre of creativity by welcoming one of the City of Culture’s The Show Windows.

Dancing Frogs is part of local artist Jack Foulkes’ wider project Jack’s Frogs, which was dreamed up when he was told that the River Sherbourne in Coventry was to be uncovered.

Jack, who has Down’s Syndrome, imagined that when the river was opened up, hundreds of frogs would leap out and jump around the city.

His project has grown substantially over the years through work with Coventry-based companies Imagineer Productions and Open Theatre and this specific piece depicts the frog cycle, from frogspawn and tadpole to froglet and frog, all dancing together.

The installation’s home is the city’s former IKEA building, which was closed in 2020.

The site has now been reborn as Sky Blue Studios – an innovative and sustainability-first media and studio facility that will provide a central home for sustainable creativity during Coventry’s year as the City of Culture.

Jack, whose installation went into the window earlier this month, said: “I was really excited to see my Dancing Frogs in the IKEA window. I went inside the window and helped put them all together and then watched the frogs dancing from the outside. I want everyone in Coventry to walk past and stop and dance with the frogs too.”

The new installation is already proving a hit with visitors to the city centre.

The project is part of The Show Windows, which is co-produced in partnership by Coventry City of Culture Trust, Coventry Business Improvement District (BID) and RIBA and funded by Arts Council England.

Trish Willetts, Coventry City Centre BID Director, said: “Not only is Dancing Frogs an amazing piece of art and the latest great installation as part of The Show Windows to go on display in our city, but it also marks another transformation for an iconic building in our city.”

Coun David Welsh, cabinet member for arts at Coventry City Council, said: “Dancing Frogs is a wonderful idea that is capturing the imagination of many people.

“We have ambitious plans for the building to become an arts and culture facility of national and international standing in the city and as we work towards that goal we want to use the building as a working space for arts productions and rehearsal space.”

Visit https://smartify.org/venues/the-show-windows for more information.

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