Coffee Tots, a cafe based in City Arcade and run by the charity Three Spires Family, has curated objects from the Crafts Council collection for display in Coventry city centre as part of The Show Windows: Reflections.
This Show Windows: Reflections project, co-produced by Historic England, Quiet Down There and Coventry BID for and with Coventry UK City of Culture, 2021, celebrates the city’s post-war architecture and hope for the future.
Coffee Tots offers a safe space for parents and their young children and a free creative group for parents who may feel isolated, are struggling with their mental health or anxiety and/or are on a low income. Quiet Down There worked with women from the group to explore the theme Amazing Women by looking at the Crafts Council works and asking questions about what it means to be a woman in society today. The works inspired conversations about womanhood, the female body, cultural identity, race, class, faith and how all these feed into how women are seen by others and most importantly how they see themselves. The women chose works they connected with in the hope others would see themselves in the works too.
This exhibition of works from Crafts Council is the final exhibition of a trilogy of shows curated by groups from City Arcade, Coventry. The long-term ambitions of these projects has been to create a public museum/gallery in the city centre using the City Arcade shop windows as display cabinets. These exhibitions not only animated the space but also told the story of those curatorial groups and the post-war architectural history of the city. Specifically highlighting Coventry’s legacy as a city reborn, the Phoenix, and a place that continuously innovates and drives culture forward, as we have seen through the Coventry 2021 celebrations and the city’s residents and creative community.