Tag Archives: graffiti

RIP Cardiff’s Millennium Walk graffiti wall

I’ve been writing a column for the wonderful Caught By The River project, and my latest piece for them was about the Millennium Walk graffiti wall, doomed by Cardiff’s impending UEFA Champions League football fest.

Where can you find existential ponderings about mathematical logic, sharing wall space with messages about Mother’s Day, paedo ring cover ups in the BBC, and a sketch of Marge Simpson with a massive spliff in her mouth? In other cities, perhaps this sort of thing is omnipresent, but in Cardiff, there’s only one place: on the banks of the River Taff, at the graffiti wall on Millennium Walk.

Read the full article and see the photos here: Wandering the River Taff: Millennium Walk and the Doomed Graffiti Wall

To be honest, it’s kind of amazing the graffiti wall has lasted as long as it has, given its PRIME LOCATION (and like the song says, dollar bill y’all, dollar dollar bill). It’s just a shame that seemingly every nice public space in the city has to celebrate alternative community has to be sacrificed for profit (see also: the Abacus, but hopefully NOT Womanby Street).

I just read this morning that a new space has been secured for the wall: in Callaghan Square, on the southern outskirts of the city. Oner Signs will still be co-ordinating, so if you’re desperate to paint please contact them rather than just rocking up and tagging!

If you’ve never heard of Callaghan Square, well, that’s because it’s basically just a bit of a strange nomansland of a place – a walkway across the middle of a massive roundabout that hugs the edge of the city between Butetown and the city centre (go to the north end of Bute Street – it’s there). Ie – a bit of a shit spot.

I know the artists will be happy they’ve been given somewhere by the council – anywhere is better than nowhere, after all. Graffiti is still a bit ‘cutting edge’ I guess for the majority of people who make planning decisions in the city (Cardiff council planning department – step forward and prove me wrong!), so I suppose just any space seems like enough in their eyes.

Callaghan Square is by no means a like-for-like location. Millennium Walk was a wonderful place, because it brought massive amounts of exposure for the artists and the art form itself to people who probably would never go and seek that out. And yes, the new space is used by skaters, so it’s nice in that sense, but it feels a bit like ghettoising the art form. Get it back in the centre! Make it visible!

How nice it was … to be able to amble down the river and enjoy (or be confused by – reactions are irrelevant guys, it’s ART) the murals on those walls.

Anyway, there have been a bunch of things published about the wall, so I thought I’d do a bit of a round up here:

If I’ve missed anything, please leave links to more pieces you’ve seen in the comments. And RIP this quirky, wonderful little segment of the beating heart of our city centre.

Photography by Lorna Cabble



International Women’s Day: Paint Jam

On 5 March, artists from across the UK gathered on the boardwalk next to the River Taff and the Principality Stadium for the ‘Back to Nature’ Paint Jam. The jam was to raise awareness of the Women’s Equality Network, a network of over 700 organisations and individuals committed to making Wales a safer and fairer place for women and girls.

International Women’s Day is an important opportunity to celebrate the contribution and achievements of women across the world. It’s also a chance to raise awareness about the rights of women and girls. In Wales, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the work done to uphold women’s rights and to consider the challenges still facing women.

Photographer Shannon Jackson went along to take some photos of the event for us:

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To see the full album of photographs, visit the We Are Cardiff Facebook page: Back to Nature photo album.

More information about the artists and the event is available from the Back to Nature Facebook event: if you’re interested in going along to support the next one, on April 9 in the same spot, there will be another one: this time, the ‘Underwater Paint Jam’. We’ll see you there!


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

LACED 2 at the Boiler House – this Sunday!

IMG_0404 LACED is all about bringing together people with a shared love for the ‘sneaker game’ and all that it represents. This Sunday, the Boiler House graffiti project plays host to the second of these special very special events, from 12pm until late.
Whether you’re into trainers or not, get down there and check out the amazing line up of music, shops and food.
Expect sneaker stalls, competitions, clothing, live graffiti, breakdancing and music.
There will also be:
  •  a pop-up barbers shop from Sleep When You’re Dead offering fresh cuts to all for a discounted price, and Captain Cats beard oil helping tame the wildest of facial fuzz;
  • the cool guys at Punk Bikes, who will be bringing along a range of their wares, and also running a sprints competition for anyone to try;
  • silent film screening of ‘Style Wars’ by OnerSigns;
  • tasty grub will be coming from Pieminister, Dirty South BBQ and Bake my Day cake specialists and vegan fare; and
  • an on site bar selling Pipes ales, Red Stripe, processo by the bottle, shorts and soft drinks for children.

As well as all of that, Cardiff Geek Party will be bringing a load of old Sega and Nintendo consoles, and they’ll be running competitions and bringing back a whole load of nostalgia through the day.
So dust off your freshest kicks, rock that Kangol hat, bring along the kids and join LACED events for the coolest Sunday ever!

Check out their Facebook event  for more info!



100 days in Cardiff – Cathedral Walk

We Are Cardiff contributor Jeremy Rees is recording his days in and around Cardiff with 100 photographs of local points of interest. We’ll be publishing some of them here on We Are Cardiff – and make sure you tune in to Jeremy as he presents the Saturday Soulful Breakfast on Radio Cardiff!

Cathedral Walk

Cathedral Walk

“This mural is really large – but is easily missed. It’s painted – rather incongruously – on a wall between The Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St David, and Minskys Showbar “providing live drag entertainment starring Tina Sparkle” (that’s Cardiff!) the mural is of a cliff with the sea crashing into it. Above the picture are the words ‘Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers’ who presumably occupied Minskys before Tina moved in. Quite what the picture depicted has to do with the Union is a mystery to me.”


Thanks Jeremy! Catch you next time…

100 days in Cardiff – De Gabay mural

We Are Cardiff contributor Jeremy Rees is recording his days in and around Cardiff with 100 photographs of local points of interest. We’ll be publishing some of them here on We Are Cardiff – and make sure you tune in to Jeremy as he presents the Saturday Soulful Breakfast on Radio Cardiff!

De Gabay mural

de gabay mural

“Another example of Cardiff street art today. This wall painting near Loudoun Square in Butetown is a lasting reminder of a day of performance & audience participation called ‘De Gabay’ (which means poem in Somali). It happened in March 2013 and was a collaboration between local writers and National Theatre Wales and it was themed on the unique multi-cultural heritage of the area. The audience found themselves unexpectedly participating in a parade, street theatre and story telling in people’s homes – not to mention taking part in a live broadcast of the radio soap ‘Sophia Square’. It was a huge undertaking and involved hundreds of local people – including me being a roving reporter (complete with trench coat) for an online TV station set up for the day to cover the event. Sadly the weather was not kind – it was very cold and there was a biting wind I remember – and that put a bit of a dampener on it, but it was still an unforgettable experience”


Thanks Jeremy! Catch you next time…

100 days in Cardiff – the art of zen

We Are Cardiff contributor Jeremy Rees is recording his days in and around Cardiff with 100 photographs of local points of interest. We’ll be publishing some of them here on We Are Cardiff – and make sure you tune in to Jeremy as he presents the Saturday Soulful Breakfast on Radio Cardiff!

The art of zen

the art of zen

“Thirty days into my challenge to record 100 days in pictures and I give you a piece of street art from a wall in Fitzhammon Close. A Zen meditation on the power of patience, which I dedicate to Jake Goddard”


Thanks Jeremy! Catch you next time…

“It’s refreshing to see how many talented DJs, producers and promoters we have” – Lubi J


Despite being born in England, I’ve always considered myself an honorary Welsh girl. I moved to Cardiff when I was four years old, so have very much grown-up feeling Welsh and I even started to learn the language again a few years ago. I grew up in Rhiwbina and have a lot of weird and wonderful memories from there as a child, going to Parc-y-Pentre on my roller boots (or ‘Parka P’ as we used to call it), and up the Wenallt for bonfires, as well things like Rhiwbina Junior’s old headmistress Mrs Harry’s leather trousers, stiletto shoe and Diet Coke obsession!

I left Cardiff for Staffordshire Uni to study the media, and then returned with a newfound love for the city in 2002. Since then I’ve lived in many of the boroughs that surround the centre; namely Roath, Splott and Grangetown. I love Roath and Splott. The local shops, pubs and eateries are excellent. Albany Road and Clifton Street have some great independent shops; as a DJ, D’Vinyl and The Record Shop have a plethora of gems waiting for you to hunt them down, plus there are the charity shops too!

Right in between Splott and Roath are the lanes that run behind the Blue Dragon Hotel on Newport Road. There’s a constant supply of amazing art here, much of it done by close friends representing the Cruel Vapours crew. I used to sit and watch in the sun when I lived on Elm Street – the most colourful street in Cardiff.

I now live right in the thick of it, on High Street. Despite being in the middle of a busy town centre, I love living here. The location is ideal – just a 10 minute walk to the Radio Cardiff studio where I present a weekly music show and a stone’s throw from a number of quality haunts.

One of my favourite places in town has to be the indoor market. Being able to buy fresh produce without going to the supermarket is a blessing, and you can always guarantee great banter from the people that work there! There’s also the weekend farmers market and Wally’s Delicatessen offering amazing treats when you’re feeling a bit more flush. Catapult Records, in the Castle Arcade is an essential shop for any DJ and to have the oldest record shop in the world, Spillers, definitely makes me feel proud as a vinyl lover!

DJing drum and bass and also funk and soul in Cardiff for a number of years has meant I’ve been able to play in some great clubs and bars, some are still around, like Clwb Ifor Bach and Milgi’s, but some have been shut down. This is one of the things that is always disappointing to see, as a DJ and a punter. The Emporium still stands as my favourite club of all time and living opposite its empty building, I’m constantly reminded of the great times I had in there and how gutted we all were when it was shut down. The bouncy wooden dancefloor (which we all thought would give way at some point) will never disappear from my mind! The Toucan club, despite having a number of different venues, is somewhere I loved playing in and I’ve always wondered if it would ever find another place to open up again. I could mention many others… As a clubber, the old Natwest bank down the bay now known as The Vaults has to be the best venue around right now. Backroom gave it legendary status bringing some of the worlds best house and techno DJs to Cardiff with a real family-run atmosphere.

Whether a venue closes or the nights stop though, Cardiff always manages to brush the dirt off and keep putting on good nights for clubbers, bringing some of the best DJs from all over the world to this tiny capital city. It’s also so refreshing to see how many talented DJs, producers and promoters we have. We’re literally bursting at the seams with talent and this is something I heavily try to promote through my show on Radio Cardiff (which is a community station, so, it’s all about giving something back).

For me, Cardiff does quite well in catering for all musical preferences so you really can’t complain. Similarly, if you love food and cooking, you can enjoy any kind of food here. Too skint to eat out? Grab some dragon sausages from the market and have a BBQ over the Castle grounds! That really is a feast fit for any Cardiff carnivore!

Lubi J is 31 and has been DJing for nearly 12 years. She presents a weekly music show called ‘System Check’, on Radio Cardiff, Tuesdays from 9-10pm (www.radiocardiff.org) with local DJs and producers regularly live in the studio and can sometimes be found playing drum and bass or funk and soul in some of the bars and clubs of Cardiff. She has a passion for cooking which is shared in her food blog, ‘This week I have been mostly cooking’ (http://thisweekbeenmostlycooking.tumblr.com/) and she also has a fine collection of trainers and hats.

Lubi J was photographed in Roath by Doug Nicholls.