Roath

A Call for Artists: Collaboration with Nature

 

Made in Roath had a profound effect on me. I am not an artist. I don’t speak Artist. Artists generally scare me and other non-artists because artists are unpredictable beasts. They make you interact with a space, they invite you to explore feelings, they juxtapose things. But the greatest fear of many non-artists is the threat of having to join in a performance dance piece.

With all that trepidation, I aimed to attend as many of the events as I could. The organisers of Made in Roath are aiming to break down the barriers between artists and the rest of society. The event is to demonstrate the extraordinary talent and ideas that we have in Cardiff and Wales, and to make artists feel safe in showing, sharing and selling their work. The photos above are from a tour organised to show the artists of Rhôd as part of the Rhôd in Roath exhibition, using a number of front gardens along Ninian Road. (Please visit the link for a full explanation of the event.) I want to thank the artists for showing their work in this way, and I do believe they have progressed the urban/rural dialogue through this work. It is a subject close to my heart.

I want to participate in Made in Roath next year. And I want artists and non-artists to participate with me. Continue reading

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Howardian Nature Reserve

 

Raj Chettri works as an urban park ranger for Cardiff Council. He is passionate about the sites he manages and the volunteers that make it all happen.

One of Raj’s sites is Howardian Local Nature Reserve, to the east of the city centre. The nature reserve is a former municipal tip that closed in the 1970s. The local school was asked to help manage the new nature reserve and some of those same school friends formed one of the first Friends Groups in Cardiff. For Martin Doe and Nigel Ferrand it has become a lifetime’s work. The Friends have transformed the site, which is now home to over 500 species.

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Spiros and Teresa’s gardens

A set of adjacent gardens had caught my eye for months. Both were filled to the brim with flowers, climbing the walls and lining the street. The paths were always well swept. I’d wanted to know if the neighbours were friends or in competition with each other. Now I’m sitting here, typing this and eating my way through a most delicious bunch of homegrown seedless grapes after meeting a couple of extraordinary gardeners.

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Empty Walls Street Art Festival 2014

Another way of making our shared spaces more fun and beautiful…

We Are Cardiff

empty walls street art festival 2014

Last year, I left the country for about five months. When I came back, Cardiff was covered in beautiful, huge murals all over some previously pretty ugly buildings. I’d missed when it happened, but it was the doing of the lovely Modern Alchemists, through a project they organised called the Empty Walls Street Art project.

They’re running another Empty Walls festival this year! They’ve got a Kickstarter, and YOU can help them make it happen. I’ve pledged fifty quid towards it, because frankly Cardiff is streets behind other cities when it comes to street art and murals (like Bristol!) and I love looking at them around the city.

“Our aim is to bring colour, culture and vibrancy to the city of Cardiff by creating an outdoor gallery of public murals,” they say. The money is going towards the hire of cherry pickers, scaffold and ladders. The more they can fundraise, the…

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Mark and Gruby’s garden

This week, as Cardiff bakes in a heat wave, we learn to appreciate trees and green spaces in our cities like never before. The asphalt and walls heat up and radiate warmth all night, keeping the nights uncomfortably warm.

Mark and Gruby’s front garden has a cool woodland feel, even through the hottest days of summer. As I cycle slowly up a rather steep hill adjacent to their house every day, I have plenty of time to appreciate the beauty of the space, even with car horns beeping at me to hurry up. Worth it.

If more gardens could be like this one, we would be in a much cooler city, (in every way).

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Plasnewydd Community Garden

A dedicated team of volunteers have created a beautiful communal garden within 10 minutes walk of the city centre in Roath by the Plasnewydd Community Centre. It is an oasis of calm and cheerfulness, with a welcoming spirit.

Sophie and I joined the team on a July Saturday morning to find out about more about the project.

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