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Cardiff’s secret bollard artwork has been restored to its former glory

03 Jul 2023 3 minute read
One of the restored secret bollards (Credit: Janes Eden/St Davids Cardiff)

A hidden gem in the centre of Cardiff has been restored to its former glory.

The secret artwork was installed within a set of pedestrian bollards as part of the new St David’s shopping redevelopment in the Welsh capital more than a decade ago.

While many would simply pass by the seemingly ordinary bollards, those that discovered their secret could enjoy miniature worlds within each through a small viewing lens.

Despite becoming a loved city treasure, the bollards were vandalised with two going missing earlier this year. But now, St David’s Cardiff has partnered with the original artist Jane Edden to restore the secret artwork, replacing the lost pieces and renovating the remaining bollards, as well as adding a new informational bollard top, as part of a six-week renovation project.

The completed bollards have now been returned to their home dotted across The Hayes, near the John Batchelor statue, and secured into place.

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Artist Jane Edden said: “It’s been a pleasure to return to Cardiff and restore the ‘Post Secret’ bollards. It’s gratifying to chat to people while working on them, hearing them express how pleased they are that this art is being given care and attention and that the bollards are being returned to their rightful place on The Hayes.

“The response has been lovely, and hopefully the bollards will be able to share their secrets for years to come.”

The bollard artwork was originally part of a £1.5m public arts scheme to celebrate the launch of the extended St David’s shopping centre in 2009. Artist Jane Edden was commissioned by the David’s Partnership to create the artwork, which is called Post Secrets and depicts monochrome drawings of students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Helen Morgan, centre director at St David’s Dewi Sant, said: “We are proud that the hidden artwork within our bollards have become so well loved by those that share the secret of the wonderful miniature worlds within.

“It was incredibly disappointing that the bollards were vandalised and we felt it was important to restore the artwork, so we’d like to thank Jane Edden for completing the restoration. We’re pleased the bollards are back and ready to be discovered by locals and visitors once more.”

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