Cardiff street art enthusiasts will remember the sad news last October, when an administrative error resulted in the removal of several murals from the columns behind the old Debenhams site in the city centre.
Now, Beth Blandford (Blandoodles) Temeka Davies (Noble Sol) and Amber Smith (BeanHead), the artists whose work was deleted, have recreated and reimagined their works in spaces at the Capitol Mall. People will recognize the spirit of the previous work and also have new surprises.
The installation, which was again commissioned by FOR Cardiff, took place in April and is now complete. The lead artists were supported by a small team of independent creatives and young people from the ACT training program who were also supported to create their own works throughout the week. Meanwhile, Capitol gave PWSH the go-ahead to create a new artwork in an also empty store, which has become PWSH’s headquarters for the time being. This was done by Marcus Smith (whose PWSH work you can also see on Minsky’s) who took inspiration from ACT students to create the final shop design.
FOR Cardiff Executive Director Adrian Field said: “We are delighted to have the PWSH street art project back in service and to see it now come to life at the Capitol Centre.
“Working with such an array of talented local artists has been and continues to be a pleasure. PWSH is just one of many arts and culture initiatives that we will fund and deliver over the next few years as we move forward with our plans to center culture in downtown life.”
The PWSH project was created to enable visual artists with a connection to Cardiff to decorate their city center with artwork that celebrates and represents a wide range of local creative talent and diversity – on large public canvases. PWSH is an ongoing and ever-evolving project, with long-term artwork exhibited around the city.
PWSH creator Rachel Kinchin added, “We were blown away by the incredible response people had to our project. Many said the artwork brought joy to their day, improved their mental health, and encouraged them to explore their own creativity again.
“When we lost ‘Minsky’s Pillars’ artwork, we were all devastated – but the public reaction was so positive that we knew we had to recreate these Beth, Amber and Temeka pieces in a way or another – and we’re so proud of what we’ve created – it’s not easy to find the right spaces in the city center and the artists and our team have done an amazing job.
“In addition to reinventing these pieces on Capitol Hill, we have exciting and meaningful collaborations and partnerships ahead and are seeking funding to continue to bring PWSH to people and ensure that artists and creatives can continue to do work that inspires. people and is cheerful, while being paid fairly for their ideas and creativity.
Temeka Davies said, “I love how every time I work with PWSH, they push me (ha!) to grow and grow too. This time creating the work was different in many ways, as I already had some experience and knew what public art and my art meant to the public. Also, meeting the young adults of ACT and teaching them to work on self-portraiture and identity was another amazing experience for me as an artist.
Catering learner Caitlin Boyce, 17, from Cardiff, said: ‘Post-lockdown this creative project is really good, to bring people together, to do something interesting. I prefer images that have messages, so obviously this one has a message. It’s really good that it’s about bringing people together, from different cultures.
From this project, I hope to gain experience in freehand painting, as I am interested in this type of street art. I’ve done my own paintings in art books, but never anything like this.
Katie Schaffer, Head of Enrichment at ACT, added: “ACT are so excited to join the PWSH! project at the Capitol Center in Cardiff to create stunning works of art, in collaboration with Welsh artists. Our learners have had the opportunity to work with a variety of different people, explore their creative side and produce works that will be proudly displayed on Capitol Hill.Thank you to everyone involved for providing this opportunity to enrich the programs of our learners.