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Watch: Star Wars themed mural transforms subway in Welsh town

04 Sep 2023 4 minute read
The Star Wars themed mural which has appeared in a Llanelli subway (Credit: Jenks Art)

David Owens

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, (well south Wales actually), there was a street artist for whom the force was strong.

One of Wales’ leading street artists Steve ‘Jenks’ Jenkins has spent the last six months creating an out of this world Star Wars inspired mural that has turned a neglected subway in Llanelli into a quirky sci-fi masterpiece.

Flying (Han) solo, the art jedi returned regularly to the subway on any spare days he could find to create the piece, which he has entirely self-funded.

The subway in the Dafen area of the town (near to Toolstation) has been given a stunning makeover with the artist creating what will no doubt become a popular attraction for locals as well as the many fans of the sci-fi franchise.

It features Yoda and R2D2 as you’ve never seen them before, as well as a beautiful painting of Padmé Amidala (played by Natalie Portman) and favourites such as Darth Vader, the Death Star, the Millennium Falcon, Rebel Alliance X-wing starfighters and Mandolorian.

Jenks, who is renowned for his stunning street art, including eye catching pieces dedicated to Twin Town, Only Fools and Horses, Phil Bennett and a beautiful miners’ memorial, had his eye on the subway for this special project for some time.

“The subway became available a couple of years ago to paint and was originally sponsored by some local councillors and the police to cover the cost of materials,” said Jenks. “It was painted with some logos from the local community and was very much a location based mural.

“Unfortunately the mural started flaking and did not stand the test of time. I felt really disappointed and upset for the people that use the subway, some everyday walking to nearby schools and hospitals, so the decision was made to renew the mural and to foot the bill for it myself.

The enduring sci-fi movie franchise was something he had wanted to commit his skills to, and his patience waiting for a space to appear finally paid off.

“The Star Wars side was a project that I had always fancied painting but didn’t have the space the carry it out to the scale I wanted to,” said Jenks, who was given the green light by the council.

“I contacted a local councillor and asked him if it would be ok if I used this area as a blank canvas to get permission to carry out the work.

“He agreed it needed brightening up. So I rubbed back the whole of the old flakey paint with a sander on the two sides of the subway and used high quality paint to give it a base coat.”

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Since being given the go ahead it has been a labour of love for the artist.

“I started painting back in April. As the months passed I added a character here and there as I could afford the time and paint to do it. The Star Wars side has just been completed on the weekend, which I think looks great.”

Jenks has already had people visiting to take pictures as word got around of this hidden gem tucked away in a subway in Llanelli.

“I had a few people travel from surrounding area to take pics and even had people tell me that they are going to make dance and exercise videos in front of it. So it seems to be going down really well with the local community,” he said.

The other side of the subway, which for the purposes of this story, we shall call the dark side, is set to be illuminated by a rebel alliance of street artists who have been invited to make their mark and get creative thanks to an invite from Jenks.

To see more of Jenks’ work click HERE

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