Sanctuary – Artwork honouring those lost to Covid to be built by local community in ‘the town that never forgets’

Imagineer are excited to announce that we are currently working in association with Artichoke to deliver SANCTUARY in partnership with Warwickshire County Council and Nuneaton and Bedworth Council in 2022.

“Let my soul be as a temple of remembrance where the treasures of knowledge enter and the
inner sanctuary is hope.”
– George Eliot

In March 2022, a unique public memorial will be built in Nuneaton & Bedworth, birthplace of
George Eliot and home to the country’s largest Armistice Day Parade. Sanctuary will stand as an
unforgettable temporary structure and space of healing, built by the local community to
commemorate the nation’s loss during Covid. Artichoke, the UK’s leading producers of
extraordinary live events, will bring their unique approach to public art to the region, inviting
people to come together in the spirit of remembrance and hope.
Delivered in association with Coventry-based company Imagineer, the producers are calling for
local people who want to get involved, meet new people and learn new skills, both for the build
and for the event itself. Sanctuary will bring people together from across the area and provide
opportunities for employment and training, working through community groups and local

Through Artichoke’s continuing partnership with American artist David Best, local people will
work with Best and his crew to build an intricately carved wooden structure in the Miners’
Welfare Park in Bedworth, ”the town that never forgets”. Best is known for his soaring temples,
built at Burning Man and elsewhere, quiet places for contemplation and reconciliation.
Sanctuary will stand open to all for five days from 7-11 March, offering a space to remember
those we have lost and everyone impacted by Covid. A spectacular finale event on Sunday 13
March will cement Sanctuary as a beacon of hope to mark the rebirth, recovery and
regeneration of the whole community.

Jane Hytch, CEO of Imagineer says:
“This is a hugely exciting project for Nuneaton & Bedworth and the whole West Midlands
community. We are looking for all manner of volunteers, from complete beginners to those who
have experience in construction and woodworking to support with building the structure. We
are also running a competition for local schools, youth and community groups, to design their
own panels which will be included in the final Sanctuary design.
“And then, once the structure is built, we are looking for local people to become its guardians
to care for the space and for its visitors, giving information about the project and supporting
them to interact and connect with Sanctuary.”

Helen Marriage, CEO and Artistic Director of Artichoke, says:
“There has been much debate about appropriate memorials to those who have been lost to
COVID and less so about recognising all who got us through it. We wanted to make something
that was both a place to contemplate and remember, and somewhere joyful where people
were able to come together again. David’s vision and his long history of designing beautiful
spaces that hold people and bring comfort and some kind of resolution seem absolutely right
for this moment.”

Temple, David Best, 2015. Produced by Artichoke in Derry~Londonderry. Photo by Matthew Andrews

Artist David Best, says:
“This past year and a half has not been easy for anyone. We have faced terrible tragedy and
great loss. I believe in the power of collaboration and community, that by recognising pain and
sadness, and laying down our burdens, we can face the future from a place of hope and
renewal. That’s what I hope Sanctuary will bring to the people of Nuneatron & Bedworth, the
West Midlands and everyone who makes the journey here.”

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council leader Cllr Kristofer Wilson says:
“Sanctuary is a truly remarkable set of ideas that will bring excitement and spectacle to this
park, this town and this Borough.
“We are delighted to welcome creative and innovative events to our area, and urge people to
get involved in what is certain to be a unique and memorable experience.
“This event is an opportunity to showcase Bedworth on both the national and international
stage and I am really excited to use this opportunity to welcome visitors from around the world
to our town. Bedworth knows how to make people welcome and I’m sure we will continue to do

Sanctuary is produced by Artichoke in association with Imagineer, is supported by Nuneaton &
Bedworth Borough Council, Warwickshire County Council, and the DCMS Culture Recovery

Sanctuary is seeking local businesses who want to play their part by supporting this
once-in-a-generation opportunity. The Sanctuary Business Club starts from £500 + VAT and
offers a range of benefits in return. Whether your company is looking to engage employees,
boost your profile, or are simply a champion for everything Nuneaton & Bedworth has to offer,
there is a package for you. Please get in touch with Ma-ayan Plane, Deputy Development
Director at Artichoke to find out more or 07909754098.