Culture

The brilliantly colourful street art project changing the face of Cardiff

08 Aug 2021 4 minutes Read

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David Owens

A playful street art project has started to take shape in the Welsh capital.

The first phase of the pilot street art project titled PWSH, is under way and is transforming the look of the city centre thanks to some brilliantly colourful artwork.

Cardiff Indoor Market, Mill Lane, Metros nightclub and St David’s Centre are just some of the locations to have experienced an eye-catching makeover.

Commissioned by FOR Cardiff and realised by a group of creatives and artists with the aim to produce joyful, playful, and colourful pockets of artwork to ultimately form a mural trail in the city centre PWSH wants to celebrate people coming back to the heart of Cardiff as we emerge together as a community, hopefully from the worst of the pandemic.

Murals outside Peppermint Bar & Kitchen by artist Mari aka Mythsntits (Credit: Raquel Garcia / PWSH)

Over the last week, armed with paintbrushes and posca pens, the PWSH creatives have started to breathe new life into corners of the city centre they they hope will make you smile with their vibrant ideas.

The project has been created to enable Cardiff born and Cardiff-based emerging and established visual artists to decorate their city centre with artwork that celebrates and represents a breadth of local creative talent.

Supporting artists

“During the last 18 months, many of us have slowed down and have been thinking about what our community and our city means to us and PWSH hopes to help re-energise our city centre and imagine a vibrant future for Cardiff,” said curator and creative director, Rachel Kinchin, who added that the project the reaction to the artwork has been “incredible”.

“It’s just brought so much joy. Like, literally, all ages, all types of people just coming and chatting to us about the artwork and loving it – and coming back day on day, saying how much it’s elevated their mental health that day, it’s making them feel safe.”

Temeka Davies aka Noble Sol with her murals which celebrate afro hair (Credit: Raquel Garcia / PWSH)

As part of the project she wanted to work with emerging and established local artists to provide a blank canvas on which they could work.

“So many artists are side-hustling – it’s not yet their full-time career,” she said.

“I wanted to work with a variety of people who were pushing themselves beyond the boundaries of what they’ve done previously, as well as people who are a bit more established.”

The street art project aims to explore Welsh identity in Cardiff beyond the typical Welsh identifiers such as daffodils and dragons.

“One of the artists, Temeka, all of her art is celebrating her afro hair and she’s Welsh born and bred. So that to her is her lived experience. Her dad’s from Nigeria, her mum is Welsh,” Rachel said.

“I didn’t want to give too tight a curatorial view. I like to keep it real – I like the art to be accessible, inclusive, diverse. I wanted us to look forward – to see together what we want our city to look like. And it’s colourful, it’s vibrant and it’s celebrating difference.”

Murals on pillars outside the former Debenhams (Credit: Raquel Garcia / PWSH)

FOR Cardiff Executive Director Adrian Field said: ‘We’re thrilled to have commissioned the PWSH street art project and to see it come to life now.

“Our place-making agenda for the city centre recognises the vital role of arts and culture in the urban landscape and to be able to work with such an array of talented local artists has been a pleasure. We have ambitious plans to centre culture in Cardiff life over the next five years and PWSH is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Find out more about the PWSH project and the location of the artwork HERE

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