Tag Archives: arts cardiff

My Body Welsh – A Rumination on Welsh National Identity

In a world where nationalism has become muddied by dangerous right-wing rhetoric, it is easy to forget about the metaphysical merit of searching for one’s own national identity. Often, it is a discovery laden with history, language, surprise and – most importantly – growth. Welsh national identity, too, is made particularly interesting  by the complicated amalgamation of Welsh and Anglo culture which has left Wales – particularly the South – iridescent. Despite this, the sense of community in Wales is as prominent as our valleys and our stories. Pontio, Invertigo Theatre Company’s and The Conker Group’s newest offering, My Body Welsh, is a play that concerns itself with these issues of national identity, and more with creative aplomb:

“MY BODY WELSH is a playful, part-bilingual, one-man mystery adventure. Weaving stories, histories, sounds and language, performer Steffan Donnelly transports his audience into a slippery world of small-town myth-making. Accompanied by a live soundscape artist creating sounds both with and in front of the audience, the show creates community in its telling, leaving us wondering the extent to which national identity is built upon stories.”

The play weaves its way through the infamous streets of Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch and into the minds behind small town myth-making and culture building. The play asks if “There’s more to being Welsh than having the accent, isn’t there?”, and it’s up to you to attend and find out the answer. The play is on tour at the moment and will be arriving in Cardiff at Chapter Arts on the 13 / 14 of January. This looks like a real treat, so be sure to grab your tickets for My Body Welsh here at Chapter, if you fancy it.




Exploring Cardiff’s Printhaus

We sent intrepid explorer Benjamin Newman off to Canton to get to the heart of the arts oasis of the Printhaus. 




Just off Llandaff Road in Canton, in a pretty non-descript part of Cardiff, lies a green splash of colour. It’s hidden away from the aged, red-brick of Canton, and it’s known as the Printhaus.

In many ways, the “just out of sight” nature of the Printhaus extends to the Cardiff art scene as a whole; the entire scene is buried a little under the surface, it just requires a little effort to find it. In fact, it’s located a “stone’s throw” away from the Cardiff art epicentre of Chapter, so it’s geographically pretty linked up with other Cardiff art spaces. As you walk into the entrance and see Cardiff artist Phil Morgan’s art painted on the walls you know this a place where local art is the goal and passion.

The Printhaus is essentially an arts collective offering a variety of services mostly focused on screen printing, but they also assist in general arts services. More than anything, they are there to bridge the alarmingly wide gap between art education and art industry; it is places like the Printhaus that facilitate people’s interest in art or help streamline their ideas further. They offer their impressive line of equipment for hire, including:

  • Textile carousal
  • Flatbed printer
  • Etching Press
  • Fabric Table
  • Table top clamps
  • Exposure Unit
  • Mac G4 + Mac Duo Intel Computers

printhaus_benjamin_newman-04  printhaus_benjamin_newman-06   printhaus_benjamin_newman-09

A variety of screen printing courses are on offer, too, for really decent prices. To see the the Printhaus as simply a service centre for art would be short-sighted. What I discovered from spending some time there and conversing with the managing team of Jude, Tom and Nigel was that, at its foundation, the Printhaus is a space where art is cultivated and celebrated. During our 30-minute conversation we talked a lot about the fact that art requires some form of nurturing in urban spaces: we touched on topics like government funding, digital media, the impact of the art scene on Cardiff and the importance of tangible art in a world where art is becoming more and more digitised.

Whilst I originally intended to interview Jude, Tom and Nigel, it quickly turned into a fluid conversation. In a way, this showed how welcoming the trio were to anyone interested in art, really. They instantly made the Printhaus into a warm and friendly place, miles away from the stereotype that art spaces were elitist or unfriendly.

My original question was about whether the Printhaus received enough support from Cardiff, whether enough was being done to promote Cardiff’s art scene. Funding was mentioned pretty quickly. Funding, then, seemed to be an issue for the Printhaus, but that’s not to say the local council are disinterested in the Cardiff art scene. Despite only having one visit from the council, the Printhaus are part of the Family Arts Network, funded alongside funded organisations like Chapter, Theatr Iolo, National Museum of Wales etc.

The funding of £2500 was granted as a research development project to improve the Family Arts Network in Cardiff. However, the council, from what I gathered from the conversation, seem very focused on economics and are trying to model Cardiff after Swansea’s art structure – but the homogenisation of Welsh art is something that should be avoided. Trying to simply model Cardiff’s art scene after Swansea’s is disrespectful to the unique cultural fabric of each city. The council, though, are definitely on the right track in wanting to create a solid network between art centres in Cardiff. In a post-Brexit Britain, where isolationism and individualism are verging on pandemic, the need to network with the public, other centres and the city itself is more important than ever. The Printhaus are definitely trying to keep this alive, whether it be through educational classes or printing an infinite number of tote bags to impress Cardiff freshers.


The council sees art as a stepping stone into supporting the growth of small business, but urban art centres offer so much more than just business stimulation; they offer education, too. The Printhaus have worked with numerous youth groups, but Jude, Tom and Nigel seemed really passionate about their work with youth offenders. They provide screen printing activities and workshops for youth offenders and the results, from my perspective, are staggering. Screen printing is an excellent method to get into art as you create something tangible with high-quality – it gives artistic confidence. It’s not just an enjoyable activity for youth offenders, but it gives them a sense of achievement. The screen print is a tangible reminder that they can create something; reminders such as this is sometimes all it takes to set someone on the right path again. By creating something tangible and engaging their minds creatively, youth offenders can avoid falling into repetition; art can be a confidence-builder and sometimes confidence is all our most vulnerable need. Education is quickly moving into digitised art and media, but things like screen printing can remind students of the benefits of tangible, more traditional art forms. The sessions with youth and youth offenders is symptomatic of Printhaus’s role in the local community – it is not a place to simply make art, but a place that inspires your individuality and confidence.

Jude, too, mentioned that being in the Printhaus helped her finish her MA, in multi-disciplinary printmaking over in Bower Ashton (University West of England). Despite Tom and Nigel having little to no expertise in her degree discipline, they were able to help her at difficult points during her degree by providing a creative outlet and creating a space where she could freely bounce ideas off of them; the Printhaus, for her, was a place where she could refine other artistic pursuits. By being in an environment of varying disciplines, it allowed her to form a sort of artistic support network and this support, essentially, shows that art networks are still important in cities – they provide invaluable assistance for an artist of any discipline.

As I left the Printhaus I was impressed by how humble this little oasis in Canton was. It’s places like this who quietly keep the beating heart of Cardiff and Welsh culture alive. Check out The Printhaus’ website and pop down if you ever have the chance. You’ll get a taste of the real Cardiff, away from the rugby and alcoholic hedonism.





Dusty Knuckle Pizza have recently relocated to the Printhaus – so stop in there for a slice! There are also frequent open studios and their Snapped Up arts market are held there throughout the year, giving makers a chance to sell direct to the public. Printhaus even recently held its first wedding!

Printhaus Facebook

Printhaus website

Benjamin Newman is an English Literature graduate situated in the Valleys. Passionate about art, music, literature, perfect cups of tea and pretending he’s a journalist.


Cardiff Contemporary Visual Arts Festival is here! 20 Oct – 19 Nov

Cardiff Contemporary, the Welsh capital’s biennial festival of international contemporary arts starts THIS WEEK! From Thursday 20 October – Saturday 19 November 2016.

The 2016 theme of communication, and title, Are You Ready? references Marconi’s breakthrough radio signal, made from Flat Holm Island to Lavernock Point in 1897.


Ten new artist’s commissions include the activation of a permanent sculpture on Cardiff’s waterfront and the re-appropriation of two derelict city landmarks, where artists will communicate ideas globally and through space and time.

Thirty-one days of artistic challenge and discovery opens across the Welsh capital on Thursday 20 October 2016 as Cardiff Contemporary gets underway for its fourth edition. Drawing together international and Wales-based artists to charge the city streets, galleries, forgotten spaces and communities with the crackle of new and exciting ideas in multi-disciplinary visual, sonic and performance arts. The theme of ‘communication’ looms large, as artists and audiences are urged to look beyond earth, through time and to each other for clues, answers and inspiration.

Taking in historic sites from the city centre to Cardiff Bay, Cardiff Contemporary will find its focus in a temporary hub, ‘The Angel’ developed to include four new gallery spaces across a derelict, former motorcycle garage beneath the city’s Angel Hotel. From here brand new commissions will radiate across Cardiff, including impressive new public sculpture along one of Cardiff’s most public landmarks, a takeover of the imposing-yet-defunct Customs and Immigration Building at Cardiff Bay for an exhilarating, public reclamation and an un-missable light sculpture in the heart of the city centre.

Artists and groups confirmed include: Megan Broadmeadow, Laura Ford, Roman Štětina with curator Louise Hobson, Robert Montgomery, Heather and Ivan Morison, Anthony Shapland, Rob Smith and Charles Danby, tactileBOSCH, Spit & Sawdust with Edwin Burdis and a collaboration between Locus Collective (Richard James, Angharad Van Rjiswijk), comedian and writer, Stewart Lee and Andy Fung. Cardiff Contemporary is a Cardiff Council initiative, developed by Visual Arts Manager, Ruth Cayford.

The themes and overarching title for the festival, ‘Are You Ready?’ is a direct reference to the residency of Guglielmo Marconi in the city. As an exile from Italy where his pioneering vision was met with scepticism, he was supported by the British Post Office to develop his experiments into radio communications technology. Assisted by local engineer, George Kemp, Marconi succeeded in transmitting those three, immortal words in Morse code from Flat Holm Island in the Bristol Channel to Lavernock Point, Glamorgan on 13 May 1897. Just four years later, the pair succeeded in the first transatlantic radio transmission. Artists have been asked to consider this history and the modern age of instant and relentless communication in developing new work.

Creating a period of city-wide, creative celebration, Cardiff Contemporary coincides with Artes Mundi 7 art prize and exhibition (opening Friday 21 October at National Museum Cardiff and Chapter) and the city-wide Sŵn Music Festival (Friday 21 – Sunday 23 October, various venues).

Cardiff Contemporary Facebook page


Commissions, exhibitions and events announced as part of Cardiff Contemporary 2016 to date are as follows:

Megan Broadmeadow: Let The Stars Be Set Upon the Board

Reportedly discovered in 1901, the same year as Marconi’s transatlantic radio transmission, the Antikythera Mechanism is an ancient, bronze instrument of multiple, moving parts described as the earliest analogue computer. Bristol-based artist, Megan Broadmeadow will use this seismic archaeological discovery as the basis for a new sculptural work, simultaneously reflecting on the mechanism’s resting place at the bottom of the Mediterranean and the ancient Egyptian and Greek civilisations that it is related to.

Laura Ford: Keepers of The Wall

Laura Ford’s sculptures, combining tenderness, fantasy with frequent signs of menace to relay political or social comment, will bring something suddenly and mysteriously new to a Cardiff city centre landmark. This project will remain purposely under wraps, exercising the art of surprise.

Roman Štětina: Shave and a haircut – two bits

Czech artist Roman Štětina investigates the processes of creating film, television and radio; making visible the props, technologies and studios of ‘backstage’. At Cardiff Contemporary, Štětina presents a new site-specific installation curated by Louise Hobson. Exploring the narrative of call and response, images within images stretch back in time and space, reflecting in a present that has no more thickness than a mirror.

Robert Montgomery: Cardiff Poem 2016

Beautifully capturing the convergence of prose and visual art, Robert Montgomery’s work in neon, fire, billboards, painting and print has written deeply-affecting statements large across public spaces from Trafalgar Square, London to Tempelhof Field, Berlin. Montgomery will make his latest statement in central Cardiff, illuminating resident’s and visitor’s journeys with an intervention from on high that invites a moment of reflection.

Heather and Ivan Morison: Love Me or Leave Me Alone (LMOLMA)

Combining to deliver work that transcends the divisions between art, architecture and theatre, the duo of Heather and Ivan Morison will activate Cardiff’s waterfront with their first, permanent public building. Located at Cardiff Bay, the meticulously sculpted structure, inspired by stave churches of Norway – a country inextricably linked by historic trade to Cardiff – and ad hoc beach shacks of 1960s West Coast America will appear as a functional food and drink outlet. Love Me or Leave Me Alone will play host to a programme of special events curated by Chapter on Saturday evenings during the festival.

Anthony Shapland: The Hand That Makes The Sound

Signwriting is an art form that is dying out and one of the most common forms of communication spanning the birth of trade and commercialism as we know it. Cardiff-based artist, Anthony Shapland is exploring the art and one of the city’s oldest surviving practitioners of the trade, whose own, physical canon of works has been gradually eroded by the advancement of regeneration, knocking down the workshops and traditional retailers that once proudly bore the fruits of his labour.

Charles Danby and Rob Smith: Limelight

A project that arrives in Cardiff courtesy of PEAK – Contemporary Art in the Black Mountains – and the Canal & River Trust, Charles Danby and Rob Smith return to the rural heartlands above the city, encountering the canals, quarries, tramways, caves and kilns that fed the heavy industries that roared in South Wales. For Limelight, the artists will use digital means to bring reflections on this history to contemporary audiences by streaming a series of live illuminations to a city centre location and online. The material for their work will be limelight itself, an intense white light generated through heating quicklime used in the 19th century for land survey work and stage lighting. Each broadcast will last as long as it takes for the chemical reaction to be exhausted.

tactileBOSCH: Garden of Earthly Delights

Borrowing directly from a masterpiece by the artist collective’s namesake, Hieronymus Bosch, the Garden of Earthly Delights promises a vibrant, prodigious and inclusive multi-media exhibition in the old Customs and Immigration Building, a vast disused building in the historic area of Cardiff Bay, later reconfiguring their work to be presented again in Stadium Plaza in the city centre. Their invigoration of a long-abandoned landmark will be a ‘gesamtkunstwerk’, gathering collaborators together to include site-specific installation, video, painting, photography, sonic art, interdisciplinary collaborations and spontaneous interventions, starting with a wild launch night of live music, cabaret, spoken word and visceral performance art.

Locus Collective (Richard James and Angharad Van Rjiswijk) featuring Stewart Lee and Andy Fung: The Hill of Dreams

An audio-visual, immersive installation based on the psychogeography of childhood and the wider themes explored in Arthur Machen’s book, The Hill of Dreams, Richard and Angharad will travel to locations of their childhood in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and the southern Netherlands to record the landscapes that defined their childhoods. The pair’s collaborative suite of footage, field recordings and archive material will be embellished by comedian and writer, Stewart Lee, recording an original, narrative piece for the audio installation and artist, Andy Fung who will paint an accompanying canvas that reflects on his Trinidadian upbringing.

Spit & Sawdust featuring Edwin Burdis

Occasionally a misunderstood and maligned fixture in city spaces, skateboarders and skate culture are set on a collaborative collision course with artists in a project that draws parallels between the two protagonists. As both visibly inhabit and frequently alter the city spaces that they use, the artist-led collaboration will look to the ‘internal’ language of skating, experimentation in using public space, the conventions by which skateboarders communicate and celebrate new skills and ideas and popular forms of documenting performances, primarily video, as part of this new work. The outcome is intended to be a timely discussion about how we exist in close proximity with others who may have different ideas or agendas.

Full information on each commission, dates, times and locations, plus further events including screenings, talks and workshops, will be published on Cardiff Contemporary’s website: www.cardiffcontemporary.co.uk

Connect with Cardiff Contemporary on social media:

Twitter: twitter.com/cardiffcontemp

Facebook: facebook.com/CardiffContemporary

Instagram: instagram.com/cardiff_contemporary



Tiger Bay Tales: interactive walking trail around Tiger Bay

An interactive walking trail around Tiger Bay launches TODAY! Put together by the Wales Millennium Centre, the Tiger Bay Tales trail is inspired by true stories and accounts from members of the Tiger Bay community.

At its peak, Cardiff Docks was one of the largest dock systems in the world; in 1907, 9 million tonnes of coal were exported. This project will permanently capture the rich, diverse and spirited history of Tiger Bay which lies within a shared ‘square mile’ of Wales Millennium Centre, before living memory is inevitably lost and further capital development changes the dynamic of the area.

The Tiger Bay Tales trail will guide walkers – via an app – around the Bay, with beacons dotted along the route beaming unique audio and visual content about the area to their phone.

The trail forms part of a story gathering initiative to capture and preserve the legends of Butetown and Tiger Bay.

Earlier this year, local residents were invited along to the Tiger Bay Tales pop-up Hub in Mermaid Quay to share their memories of the former Tiger Bay.  These stories have been developed into digital content, accessible via the Tiger Bay Tales app, providing a unique glimpse of Tiger Bay as it once was.

Guided by a map on the app, walkers on the trail will be directed to key landmarks in the area, signposted by blue plaques. On reaching each plaque, a beacon will send digital content to the app, including audio narrated by community figures from Tiger Bay, historic photos and video footage, piecing together a moving narrative about the transformation of Tiger Bay over the years.

Wales Millennium Centre’s Arts and Creative Officer, Jason Camilleri, said: “The beauty of the area known as Tiger Bay is a direct result of the geographical partitions that kept it separate from the rest of the city. It was in this square mile that a truly unique community was able to thrive, enriched by its many visitors from overseas. Often misrepresented to communities outside of its boundaries, one of the oldest multi-cultural communities in the UK, Tiger Bay can arguably lay claim to possessing Cardiff’s most interesting history.  Tiger Bay Tales is a project that aims to shine a light on the real Tiger Bay, concentrating on the true colour and character of the area, through the voices of the fantastic people that made it what it is today.”

The free-to-download app and website www.tigerbaytales.com goes live TODAY, 19 July.



Clear of People – photography book retracing the steps of a fugitive journey

In 2013, Cardiff-based photographer and Ffotogallery tutor Michal Iwanowski set off on a 2,200 km journey from Russia to Poland. He travelled on foot, with a camera as his sole comrade, in solitude. He took a series of photographs on that journey: a project called ‘Clear of People’, which is currently running as a Kickstarter where you can preorder a copy.

70 years before, Michal’s grandfather and uncle had made the exact same journey, but their circumstances were very different. The men had spent a year in a prisoner-of-war camp in Kaluga, in Russia. Their daring escape was followed by a three month trek to Wroclaw, where their family were. The men struggled against constant cold, hunger and exhaustion, they moved under the cover of the night, avoiding any contact with people. Driven by their longing to return home, and having escaped death on numerous occasions, they eventually made it to Poland, and to safety.


Michal’s trip was inspired by the fugitive odyssey of his family. He returned to Russia with a map and notes inherited from his uncle. He embarked on a similar journey, faithfully retracing every step, and just like Tolek and Wiktor before him, he steered clear of people along the way.

Here are some notes he inherited from his uncle:

 The escape (1945)

A few kilometres in we started worrying they might already be looking for us. Suddenly Tolek noticed a boat tied to a large pale, floating on the Oka. The boat was small, but a boat nonetheless. The four of us wrestled the pale, and as it gave way, we jumped onboard and set off. Paddling with a plank ripped off the seat, we slowly steered away from the wretched Kaluga.

We made it across the river relatively quickly, considering it was much wider than Wisła. When we got close to the other side, we lay low and let the boat float some two kilometres down with the current before disembarking onto the sandy shore. (…) We walked until the break of dawn, sticking to the plan we’d only move during the night in order to avoid contact with people. (…) After eating half a rusk each, washing it down with hot water boiled over the fire, and smoking a cigarette, the first two went to sleep, while Tolek and I kept guard. We had agreed only two of us could sleep at the same time.



The resulting images are stark and beautiful. “It seems that in recent years the notion of the journey within landscape photography is more frequently focusing on personal rather than global stories, bringing to attention individual experiences and narratives that are otherwise often lost. I find this very refreshing,” says Michal.

Michal studied Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport, graduating in 2008. His work explores the relationship between landscape and memory, looking for histories, individuals and traces about to fade, which explains a lot about this project.

Solitude was crucial to this project,’ says Michal. ‘Inability to share experiences and thoughts on a daily basis meant that I had only my camera to validate those. That kept me very focused and aware. Well, most of the time. Avoiding people, on the other hand, meant that I often lost track of time. There was no one there to remind me it was 2013 and people used mobile phones to find directions. For miles on end it was only trees and stones, most likely looking exactly the same as a century before, with names scratched into their bark, dating back to 1950s. It was a grand illusion, although I found myself constantly confronting black and white images from my memory, and translating them into the scenes I was seeing. Strangely enough, distant past didn’t feel that distant anymore.’

Support Clear of People and preorder a copy on Kickstarter now (a snip at only €42), as a treat yo’self gift OR the perfect present for the art lover in your life.

Clear of People on Kickstarter

The Clear of People series was previously shown in exhibitions in the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Belarus, Georgia and Poland. The photographer has been participating in international shows since 2004.


More information:

Clear of People – Kickstarter




What’s on in Cardiff! 8-14 February 2016

Part two in our series of ‘what’s on’ posts for each week in Feb. If you like them, make sure to comment and we’ll do more. If you hate them, comment, and we won’t do more. If you’re indifferent, say nothing, and we’ll meh along with you.

Here we go!

What’s on in Cardiff this week

Monday 8-13 Feb – The Rocky Horror Show

Bursting at the seams with timeless classics (Sweet Transvestite! Damn it Janet! Time Warp!) Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show is a non-stop party. Be warned, this show has rude parts!

19:30 – 23:00  |  New Theatre Cardiff, Park Place  | Book tickets for The Rocky Horror Show


Monday 8 Feb – Creative Cardiff Show and Tell

Creative Cardiff’s Show and Tell is a quarterly event that gives a platform to some of the exciting range of creative people and projects in the city. It will bring together Cardiff’s creative community, from emerging talent to old hand, to hear about their current projects and ambitions.

Each of the speakers will give a 10 minute lightening talk. And they’ll bring an object. The object might be the source of their inspiration, a tool of their trade or a comfort blanket. The speakers will share their work and explain the importance of the object they’ve brought along.


Anton Faulconbridge: Anton has worked in creative and interactive media since 1994, specialising in the development and delivery of multi-platform creative software products.

Claire Hill: Claire fell in love with making jewellery after taking an evening class and discovering the zen-like qualities of making after long days working as a director/producer in factual television. She’s also a co-founder of Dirty Protest Theatre and also co-runs the Push:Auto network for people who work across all aspects of broadcasting in Wales.

John Rostron: John is a key figure in Cardiff’s music scene, founding both the Sŵn festival and the Welsh Music Prize. John promotes live music in Cardiff through his company Sound Nation and is the current Vice-Chair of the Association of Independent Festivals.

18:00 – 19:30 | Porter’s, Bute Street, Cardiff, CF10 2FE | Book tickets for Show and Tell


Tuesday 9 Feb -The Devil Inside

A gritty, glittery, Faustian folktale, set firmly in the twenty-first century. Inspired by The Bottle Imp, a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, this brand new opera echoes his most famous tale The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Two friends stumble upon a bottle that will change their lives, a bottle that can grant any wish. But there’s a catch and the bottle demands a payment…

This evening of magic and enchantment, with a touch of Tales of the Unexpected, will keep you guessing, and leave you thinking ‘be careful what you wish for’.

19:30  |  Sherman Cymru, Senghennyd Road | Book tickets for The Devil Inside


Tuesday 9 Feb – Wonderbrass: ANNUAL MARDI GRAS with Barracwda

Mardi Gras is time to be bold. It’s time to be colorful. And it’s time to shake your festival shoes to Wonderbrass as they bring a bouncing night of internationlist world brass-jazz riot to headline our Mardi Brass! As perenial Gwdihw brass-blasting, heat-bringing, booty-shaking favourites, there’s no-one betterto bring the party to the Mardi Gras than the huge (literally, there’s dozens of them!) Wonderbrass, with the release of the “What The Actual Funk” EP!

They packed us out early doors when supporting Broken Brass Ensemble with a stunning set and we expect this to be another cracker, with Mardi Gras party tunes designed to get you shaking your tail, head and shoulder feathers about the room. As if that wasn’t enough, Barracwda will be bringing live Samba drumming to kick things off, and as it’s Shrove Tuesday, expect some free pancakes if you get in early!

WONDERBRASS – https://www.facebook.com/wonderbrasswales/
BARRACWDA – https://www.facebook.com/barracwda

20:00 |  Gwdihŵ Café Bar, 6 Guildford Crescent  |  £4/£3 adv  | Wonderbrass tickets


Friday 12 -14 Feb – From Now On Festival 2016

mark thomas shape records by adam chard

Now in its third year of sonic discovery, From Now On is here, to fill Chapter with adventurous, fresh and boundary pushing music!

This year’s line up: Julia Holter / Stealing Sheep / Meilyr Jones / Laura Cannell / Happy Meals / Laura J Martin / Bas Jan / Apostille / L’Ocelle Mare / Mark Lyken / Giant Swan / Threatmantics / Anna Homler & Steven Warwick: Breadwoman / Tim Parkinson: Time with People / H. Hawkline Gwaed Ar Y Sêr / Sweet Baboo: Synthfonia Cymru / Sleeper Society / CAM Sinema / Chapter Cinema / Club Foot Foot / Arc Vertiac.

Read our interview with Sparky Mark (yeah, I still call him that) from Shape Records from last year’s event

18.00 – 23.00  |  Chapter Arts Centre  |  From Now On Facebook event


Friday 12 Feb – Bullion Presents Break / Dead Mans Chest (Eveson) / Boston

If your idea of a good Valentine’s celebration is some chest-vibrating jungle / drum’n’bass, then get yourself to Clwb for Bullion: Break and Dead Mans Chest (aka Eveson) plus Cardiff local boy Boston will bring some serious Symmetry sounds.

Room two hosted by Switch – electro house music, all night long!

22.00 – 04.00  |  Clwb  |  Bullion Facebook event


Saturday 13 Feb – 6 Nations: Wales v Scotland

giant rugby ball

It’s rare we promote the mainstream sportz on this blog (especially as the game is sold out), but this game’s going to be a BIG ONE – so take this as a warning about getting into / out of / around town on Saturday if you’re planning a casual visit during the day …


Sunday 14 Feb – Cardiff’s Affordable Vintage Fair


If you’ve got shopping on your mind this Valentine’s Day, go vintage! Situated in Portland House – a historic banking hall near Cardiff Bay, it’s the perfect venue for Judy’s affordable vintage fair. Expect over 30 stalls packed with the finest vintage from 1940s onwards! Fashion, homewares, accessories and a full tea room for those feeling a tad peckish!

11.00 – 14.00  |  Entry £2, Under 12s free | Portland House, 113 – 116 Bute Street, CF10 5EQ | Vintage Fair Facebook event


That’s it for this week! Did we miss anything out? Let us know in the comments!

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Check out what’s going on with We Are Cardiff Press


Project Profile: Sleep / Walk / Listen

Recently I caught up with Matthew Evans, who we’ve featured on the blog before. He told me about a new project he was involved with, so I sent him a load of questions on it so he could tell you all about it.  

sleep walk listen logo

Recently you’ve started up a new business. Can you describe it for us?

Sleep / Walk / Listen is a project that is designed to create stronger connections between electronic music and visual arts. We want to explore the way that these two art forms work together and create new experiences through our output.
Each month we curate a partnership that highlights the work of music, visual and video artists. These collaborations can be experienced in full at the Sleep / Walk / Listen website – www.sleepwalklisten.com.

As well as supporting these experiences digitally through our website, we also want to lend focus to the importance of tangible arts experiences. You can own each Sleep / Walk / Listen partnership artwork in the form of high quality limited edition screen prints, available to buy from the store on our website.

What makes it different from other artists working with musicians?

From the outset of a partnership we enable the music and visual artist to discuss and develop their work closely together. We find that this gets each partner thinking differently about their output.

We also encourage freedom of expression from both music and visual artist partners, and want the end product to be inherent of this artistic freedom. These objectives have been compounded by the discussions that we are having with the artists that we work with and the way that they are approaching their work with us.

The focus on artist freedom and the co-development of each project with the artists we are working with have already led to some exciting plans for our forthcoming partnerships.


What inspired you to set it up?

The initial idea for Sleep / Walk / Listen was born out of a collaborative arts project called Sleep/Walk Art Collective.

Sleep/Walk Art Collective is a project that I founded with Jack Hardwicke (visual artist partner for SWL001 and SWL002). Sleep/Walk Art Collective has grown into my collaborative visual arts studio.

Sleep / Walk / Listen formed from this initial idea, but has grown into a separate entity that allows us to celebrate our passions for music and visual arts and how they work in conjunction.

Who’s involved in it with you?

Since the birth of the concept I have worked closely with the other Sleep / Walk / Listen team members, Tom Nield and Dan Butler, to make Sleep / Walk / Listen into what it is today.

We have also been really fortunate to work with Seb Feehan and Josh Bamford of Next Door Films. They have enabled us to realise captivating video pieces in support of each partnership.

Outside of that I have to give special mentions to Dan Walters, who ensures that everything looks as it should online, and Jonny and Charlotte Akers who have helped us take our artworks from digital artwork to physical screen prints.

Which artists are you working with, coming up in the future?

We are really proud to have been able to work with Japanese house and techno legend Hiroshi Watanabe for the launch of the Sleep / Walk / Listen partnership series. Our second partnership, SWL002, saw Berlin based DJ and producer, Chymera take the reins. We are really pleased that our work at these early stages have given the project an international identity.

Jack Hardwicke has featured as the partner visual artist for these first two partnerships, his work giving us an exciting and rich visual basis to work from. His passions for electronic music have been instrumental in launching this project in the exact way we wanted to.

The Next Door Films guys and myself worked together to provide the video element of these partnerships.

Our plans for the future see us thinking in broader terms about how electronic music and visual arts can work together. Plans for our monthly partnerships are already beginning to develop in a different direction from SWL001 and SWL002, and this excites us.

What do you hope to achieve from it?

Longer term we have plans to run our own events that have an emphasis on the visual element of a club night, release our own music releases through a record label style format and even create a series of art installations in cities around the world.

As quality of output and experience are our main drivers we don’t want to rush the development of these other formats, but let them form when we know the time is right.

Sleep Walk Listen

What are your next steps? 

Having recently launched SWL002, we are still enjoying the reaction this is receiving. Beyond this, we are working towards getting everything together for SWL003, this will go live towards the end of this month.

We can’t give too much away at this stage, but we are excited about taking the project in a new direction and working with the partner artists we have in place. Keep an eye on our social pages and website to see what we have going on.

Sleep / Walk / Listen Facebook page
Sleep / Walk / Listen website
Read Matthew Evans’ previous article for We Are Cardiff

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“It all began for me with my first exhibition at Milgi” – SnowSkull


Despite not growing up in the “bright lights” of Cardiff I have always felt drawn to the city with its many different cultures – this is where I found my feet so to speak.

From a young age I’ve always been interested in all forms of art. After school was art college, where my interests also took me into music, through someone I met who is still a very good friend. Our friendship influenced me to be one of the founding members of bands such as Funeral For A Friend, From This Moment On and Dignity Dies First. This in turn led us to touring the UK including Cardiff venues Clwb Ifor Bach, Barfly and The Point (both since disappeared). Also parts of Europe in the back of tour vans – which still hold fond memories today and the amazing people I have met along the way who have helped to shape my life. I love an array of different styles of music and I believe that all music is one – there’s simply good and bad in every genre.

Through music I found poetry and philosophy, which in turn has developed me into an abstract artist known as “SnowSkull”, so-called after one of my favorite poets Gregory Corso and influenced by such artists as Picasso, Basquiat and Jesse Reno.

My plan is to delve into other aspects of art to experiment and showcase the alternative contemporary art scene which is already established in Cardiff with the likes of Chapter Arts, Project Ten and Tactile Bosch (to name a few), and independent galleries like The Sho and G39.

But it all began for me with my first exhibition at Milgi – a vegetarian art cafe run by sisters Rebecca and Gabby Kelly. It was these two young women who gave me the opportunity to showcase my art and I will be forever greatful for their help and continued friendship. You’re always sure to have a good welcome at Milgi’s – friendly staff, good organic food and a homely atmosphere. You can even pick up a bargain at the Northcote Lane Market, held at the Milgi warehouse on the first Sunday of every month, which also hosts anything from exhibitions to comedy shows and workshops. The Kelly sisters are very supportive of the local art scene, as they were when they co-ran the Cardiff Arts Institute with Kaptin and Matt the Hat.

Although only open for a couple of years, I loved the C.A.I. It was like a second home to me. I remember nights when there were sometimes just me, Kaptin and the bar staff watching great producers such as Ital Tek, Linton Brown & Pangaea who have all gone on to greater things since their Cardiff appearances. Word of mouth soon spread and before we knew, it was a thriving community where music art and friends came together on a regular basis, kind of like ‘The Hacienda meets Cheers’. Just before Cardiff Arts changed hands I was asked to paint a mural on one of the walls – of which I am still very proud of. Unfortunately, due to new ownership, my art is gone, along with the good times and bad hangovers.

Six months on I feel that Cardiff is not the same without the Arts Institute. It’s a shame because it seems that only commercial bars have the capacity to stay afloat. I have met people from all walks of life who have left their mark on me in some way or another. A big influence on my life is Kaptin – for me, one of the biggest personalities in Cardiff. He lives and breathes music and alongside local producers Stagga & Monky are known as the Chrome Kids – a family that I have recently joined. Chrome Kids are an electronic music and art collective. Our aim is to put on nights showcasing local talent. We also do a fortnightly month radio show on Radio Cardiff, generating an average audience of approx 500, but our intentions are to widen the spectrum.

I currently have a studio for my artwork at Warwick Hall. I share the building with an abundance of talent which varies from painters, photographers, ceramicists, graphic designers and installation artists who are coming together with plans to put on events and shows.

Music, art and poetry run through my veins and I have future projects involving all three. If I didn’t live in Cardiff I would never have had the opportunities I’ve had, or met the people who have influenced me. Who knows what the future holds – but at the moment I am happy to be living in Our Nation’s Capital – ‘Cardiff’.

SnowSkull is an abstract neo-expressionist painter and is part of the Chrome Kids family, Sleep Walk collective, DSY and The Nines. His hobbies include listening, looking, touching things and dreaming. Keep up to date on future shows and works at www.snowskull.blogspot.com or on Facebook or on Twitter @snowskullartist. He currently lives in Roath.

SnowSkull was photographed at his studio in Warwick Hall by Simon Ayre