Event Details

Date: 14/9/2018 – 18/11/2018
Time: Cathedral opening hours, please check the website

Ticket Price: Open to all | Donations welcome

Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ – A visual response for Coventry to T.S. Eliot’s poem

The Waste Land is a major work of 20th-century literature, written by T.S. Eliot in the aftermath of the First World War. Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ explores the contemporary significance of Eliot’s poem and the way it resonates with the work of many visual artists.

Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888–1965) is one of the 20th century’s greatest poets. Born in the United States, he moved to England in 1914 at the age of 25, settling, working, and marrying here. At the time of writing The Waste Land, Eliot’s physical and mental state was poor, as was that of his wife, Vivienne.

Eliot’s poem, edited by Ezra Pound and published in 1922, has a disjointed structure, jumping from one voice to another and using multiple languages. It seems to reflect the world in crisis – physically, socially and spiritually.

In early 2016, the Mead Gallery invited volunteers to join the Coventry Waste Land Research Group. For over two years, they have worked together to select works for exhibition, write explanatory texts, design the gallery layout and a programme of events. The group has chosen to explore themes of journeys and fragmentation within Eliot’s poem and to refer to Coventry’s own history of war.

In Coventry Cathedral can be found a selection of images and objects relating to the journey of the font from Hebron to Coventry. In the Chapel of Industry is presented Eliot’s Note Books and Eliot’s Soil by the acclaimed artist, John Newling. The exhibition continues at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. There can be found historical and contemporary works by artists including Peter Blake, Elisabeth Frink, R.B. Kitaj, Paul Nash, George Shaw and J.M.W. Turner.

Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ is an exhibition led by independent curator, Michael Tooby, and organised by the Mead Gallery in collaboration with Turner Contemporary in Margate and the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in association with Coventry Cathedral. Members of the Coventry Waste Land Research Group are Eve Fleming, Wendy Freeman, Roger Green, Susan Green, Nigel Hutchinson, Celia O’Donovan, Karen Parker, Chris Stanley and Jayne Stanley.

Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ exhibition