Autumn art in the city: Cardiff Contemporary, 3/10-9/11 2014

Somehow we’ve crash landed in autumn in the city, and as you might have guessed from the title of this post: autumn means art in the city of Cardiff. The Cardiff Contemporary Festival has already started – apologies for not blogging about it sooner but it’s been a busy few weeks! Anyway, without further ado, let’s get on with laying out the Cardiff Contemporary Festival for you.

cardiff contemporary 2014

Cardiff Contemporary bills itself as a city-wide festival of contemporary arts, showcasing a programme of exhibition, events, and activities over  five weeks (see the image above if you don’t believe me). The theme for this year’s festival is Reveal/Conceal, and thus the festival takes art into the city’s arts centres, galleries, museums and iconic spaces, but also uses hidden or unknown sites, revealing the city in “fascinating and intriguing ways”.

Cardiff Contemporary makes use of the entire city as a space to experience art – from Central Station to the pages of South Wales Echo, you may find art anywhere.


There is absolutely shedloads going on in Cardiff Contemporary this year. I thought I’d pick out some of the things I’ll be trying to see. I’ve chosen things that are taking place in buildings you can’t normally get into, or events that seem to indicate some kind of interesting exchange between artist and visitors. Etc.

Read on!

CIVIC (4 October – 9 November, Cardiff Story Museum 11am-5pm)

CIVIC is an interactive display put together by a series of artists, inviting visitors to propose ideas and interventions for Cardiff. All visitors are invited to experiment with constructing and rebuilding their own cities using a variety of materials – to help you out, there are workshops in drawing, shadow puppetry, wireframe sculpture, and even a Phonebox Disco! (CIVIC – more info)


The Told and Untold Tour (11, 18, 25 October 2014)

The Told and Untold Tour is a weekly series of themed, artist-led mystery bus tours in Cardiff. Each weekend throughout October a selected artist with tannoy in hand will take participants on a journey through the city and its lesser-known points of intrigue. The Told and Untold Tour highlights the mystery of travelling, asking the passengers to let the artists lead in an educational leap of faith. The excitement of simply stepping on a bus to who-knows-where becomes a catalyst for exchange between artists and the public.

Pick up at Cathays Park, tours are as follows:

Saturday 11 October 2014, 2pm
Thomas Goddard ‘Nato in My Town’

Saturday 18 October 2014, 2pm
Roger Lougher

Saturday 25 October 2014, 2pm
Neil McNally ‘Far Off Things’

Tickets: Please call St David’s Hall Box Office on 02920 878444. Tickets are free but limited.


Sculpture Trail (3 October – 9 November 2014)

The works encountered on Matt Cook’s Sculpture Trail range from life-size abstract figures overlooking the canal, to discreet works concealed in the surroundings. The sculptures use natural processes such as wind and water to create sounds and movements that mimic those in the environment. Only a few minutes’ walk away from Cardiff city centre, the Feeder Canal walk is a world apart, a different time or place. The sculptures acknowledge this particular ambience, highlighting and merging with the natural sights and sounds to create a unique experience (more info).

Location: Docks Feeder Canal, parallel to Schooner Way (Little Venice)
Guided tour 12pm, Saturday 11 October 2014, starting from The ‘Stute’


Radio Nought (Wednesday 15–16 / 22–23 / 29–30 October and 5–6 November 2014, Radio Cardiff 98.7FM, 12am – 2am)

On this late night live radio programme, the lone voice of Samuel Hasler rambles and drones through oddities, clichés and strange tales: an exploration through the twilight zone of Cardiff. Broadcast live, a lone human voice in the night. Transmitted from the far horizons of the unknown, tune in for tales of dark debauchery, jumbled jokes, magnificent myths and experiments in excess, splurges of speech, tinkerings of time, and spooky, spinning space. These are stories of the near future and the distant past; adventures in which you’ll live through a million could-be nights in a thousand may-be cities.

With a rambling structure this set of live, late night, radio broadcasts will borrow heavily from the twilight zone, noir fiction, alternative humour and similar tropes. The broadcasts make use of their late night scheduling, to have freedom from conventional radio and to speculate about the strange types of people that might be listening. The programme is focused on a lone voice that digresses from and repeats a series of oddball autobiographical stories.


Paradise Lost (26 October – 7 November 2014, tactileBOSCH)

ParadiseLost unites established and emerging artists in one of Cardiff’s most iconic disused buildings. Painting, video, installation, sculpture, photography and live performance respond to the unique setting of the Customs and Immigration Building on Bute Street, in a fully immersive art experience organised by the great tactileBOSCH collective in celebration of the memory of Kim Fielding. (more info)

Location: Former Customs & Immigration Building, 56 Bute Street, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5LE, 12 – 5pm
Preview: Saturday 25 October 2014, 7 – 11pm




Bedazzled – A Welshman in New York (29 October – 1 November 2014, Cory Chambers)

Ffotogallery presents Bedazzled, a celebration of the special relationship Dylan Thomas had with the United States (New York in particular), and the enduring influence of his life and work on both sides of the Atlantic. In a series of live performances/installations, audience members are transported back to the 1950s world of bohemian New York where Dylan Thomas’ charisma and dramatic and lyrical use of language left all around him spellbound. Conceived by artistic director/curator David Drake, writer Ben Gwalchmai and composer John Rea (more info) (Facebook event page)

Location: Cory Chambers, 57 Bute Street, CF10 5LE
Tickets £12, concessions available (book at Ffotogallery’s website)



Art Hotel (7/9 November 2014, The Abacus)

The Art Hotel is an all inclusive hotel which specialises in holidays for makers and creators. All guests who stay at our hotel will arrive with a suitcase filled with all the necessities required to turn their hotel room into an art installation. The selected guests will be in residence for one week and on Friday the 7th of November the ArtHotel will open its doors to visitors for the whole weekend.

The public will have the chance to explore the artists suites as well as enjoy the Art Hotel facilities. These include, vacant art suites where you can create your very own piece of art, the lobby where there will be a cocktail bar and lounge area, and on Saturday the 8th of November the Art Hotel will be collaborating with Milgi to put on a supper club with live entertainment from our resident bands and vocal entertainers. Booking is required for the Supper club so please email if you want to reserve a space. (Art Hotel Facebook event)



Like I said, there’s LOADS more on during the next couple of weeks in Cardiff Contemporary – if you’re brave enough, dive into the CC calendar, and if I’ve missed anything that you think looks particularly worthy, let me know in the comments.



Cardiff Contemporary website

Cardiff Contemporary Facebook page



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