Puppet Lady Godiva takes first steps in Coventry

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Puppet Lady Godiva takes first steps in Coventry

Postby dutchman » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:36 pm

Godiva has woken, taken her first cautious steps, blinked her enormous blue eyes, closed them, and gone back to sleep again.

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Jane Hytch, Imagineer director, steers Godiva as she makes her first tentative steps

The giant puppet of Coventry's most famous resident, is gradually taking towering shape in an industrial estate on its outskirts.

When she stands up she is already an impressive sight – her full appearance will be kept a secret until July – which presented the engineering team, led by John Owen of Coventry University and Roger Medwell of NP Aerospace, with their first major challenge.

The 10m tall puppet will be the centrepiece of a carnival in Coventry, before she sets off down the A5, seated on a horse propelled by 100 cyclists, reaching London and the Olympics a week later.

She will be far too tall to fit under any of the bridges spanning the road, and so her throne and steed have been designed to squash down to a travelling height, and then rise up when she arrives at an overnight stop.

A separate machine takes over, a confection of bits of old cars, bicycles, a school desk, the chrome head lamps from a vintage lorry, and most of a fork lift truck, when she wants to stand up and walk on feet the size of sofas.

Unlike the lady of legend, who rode naked through Coventry covered only by her flowing locks to protest against unjust taxes, this Godiva has short hair and will be spectacularly clothed.

While a river of hand printed gold silk pours across the warehouse floor to be cut into her coat, she is wearing a size 54 dressing gown — so big that the buttons are made from cloth covered beer mats.

The puppet was designed by Imagineer Productions working with local engineers, mechanics, academics, metal workers, fabric printers, and the designer Zandra Rhodes who is working with Coventry University students on creating a hand embroidered dress and iron corset.

Godiva Awakes is part of the Arts Council backed Artists Taking The Lead series of 12 major public arts commissions across the UK to celebrate the Olympics. The project already involves up to 1,000 people, including the cyclists and a choir of 150 rehearsing the music composed by Ilona Sekacz.

Medwell takes a pragmatic view of Godiva's undoubted beauty: he hopes students will look at the lovely rods and gears behind her fibreglass knees, the gorgeous ball joints of her huge wrists, and be inspired to study engineering and revive the Midlands' heritage of design and manufacturing genius.

"We've got to inspire young people to want to make things again," he said fiercely, "real skills, real things — or we're finished."

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Re: Puppet Lady Godiva takes first steps in Coventry

Postby dutchman » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:28 pm

Giant horse will help Lady Godiva on Olympic journey to London

COVENTRY is aiming to win by a head at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

A giant horse has been specially built by local businesses to help Lady Godiva gallop all the way to London for her first trip away from Coventry in 1,000 years.

The metalwork steed will be added to a specially-built Cyclopedia which will be powered by 100 cyclists.

The structure will be at the centre of outdoor spectacular Godiva Awakes which is being organised by Coventry’s Imagineer Productions.

Claire Maddocks, of Imagineer, said: “Seeing the Cyclopedia come into existence has been amazing. The whole process of Godiva Awakes started with Arts Council England saying ‘come up with a good idea’.”

Lady Godiva will ride again in a little over three months. She will be making an appearance at Coventry’s Godiva Carnival on July 28 before journeying to London to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The original sketches for the Cyclopedia were drawn by artist Frans Wesselman. Engineers and designers from NP Aerospace, Rugby-based Shaw Sheet Metal and Coventry University have worked together to turn the the concept drawing into reality.

The unique bicycle draws on Coventry’s heritage as the largest cycle-making industry in the world and measures longer than a bendy bus.

Roger Medwell, of NP Aerospace, said: “It is intentionally an eccentric piece of engineering which will appeal to children. It builds on the magnificent engineering heritage and history of the area.”

Businesses involved in making the Cyclopedia include Shaw Sheet Metal, Garforth and Goodman, Park Sheet Metal, Winstanleys, MIRA, Pashley Cycles, Christy Hydraulics, Gordon Gilder Transport, Lightning Aerospace, Composite Creations, Universal Fabrications, Jaguar Land Rover, Medwell Hyde, Premier Sheet Metal, Morgan Crucible and NP Aerospace.

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Re: Puppet Lady Godiva takes first steps in Coventry

Postby dutchman » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:24 pm

Godiva Awakes Olympic event free tickets offered

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Thousands of free tickets are being given away to Coventry's main Olympic celebration.

The Godiva Awakes event involves dancers, actors, musicians, pyrotechnicians, and 220 young people in a procession.

The centrepiece is a specially-built, 50-seat pedal-powered vehicle that will carry a 10m (33ft) high puppet of Lady Godiva from the city to London.

The 2,750 tickets for the 28 July show are available at the Belgrade Theatre.

A maximum of 10 tickets per person are allowed on a first come first served basis at the theatre's box office or online.

Funded by the Arts Council, the Godiva Awakes project will represent the West Midlands region at the 2012 Games.

Lady Godiva famously rode naked on horseback through Coventry in protest against high taxes, but the marionette puppet will be clothed.

:bbc_news:
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Re: Puppet Lady Godiva takes first steps in Coventry

Postby dutchman » Sun May 27, 2012 3:57 pm

More tickets available for Godiva Awakes event

A second batch of free tickets for Coventry's main Olympic celebration is to be available to the public.

The first batch of tickets went in under two hours last month for the Godiva Awakes event on 28 July, which will have a capacity of 2,750 people.

Godiva will "awake" from a chamber in University Square in a celebration including dancers and pyrotechnicians.

The tickets will be available from the Belgrade Theatre's box office after 10:00 BST on Monday.

A specially-built, 50-seat pedal-powered vehicle will carry a 10m (33ft) high puppet of Lady Godiva from Coventry to London from 30 July.

One hundred cyclists will pedal the so-called Cyclopedia in shifts.

Lady Godiva famously rode naked on horseback through Coventry in protest against high taxes, but the marionette puppet will be clothed.

Funded by the Arts Council, the Godiva Awakes project will represent the West Midlands region at the 2012 Games.

:bbc_news:
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