‘A Shared Walk’ (Made in Roath) exhibition took place at the Old Laundry, Braeval Street in the Roath area of Cardiff from 19th – 22nd Oct 2017.
A Shared Walk – Roath Park is an exploration of Roath Park by a group of 8 artists and their invited ‘plus one’. Working with the theme of Longer Tables, during the Made in Roath 2017 arts festival, the artists visualised Roath Park as a table offering places to sit, share, converse and create. The group has also extended its own boundaries by each inviting a ‘plus one’ to join this project, or ‘table’. This exhibition of artworks exploring 2 miles of diverse community spaces brings together a wide range of creative collaborative responses with visual conversations inside and outside of the group, between artist and ‘plus one’, with participants and audience.
The exhibition at the Old Laundry brought all these works together to create a new conversation and a new way to experience Roath Park.
Some pairs worked together creating a single collaborative piece of work. Anna Brazier and Jill Kirkpatrick sat on the benches at Waterloo Gardens looking over the disruption caused by the work to improve the flood zone. They collected objects found around and under the benches they sat on, both natural and man-made, and used these objects to create cyanotype images. Each image, hung from a big metal barrier similar to those forming new walkways in the garden, telling a story, presenting evidence of a past time, hinting at histories and existence.
Other pairs took their ideas away to develop individual pieces. Sisters Sharon and Christine Magill walked around Roath Park together but took their inspiration from different locations, the rose garden and tennis court area respectively. Sharon was struck by the amount of benches there were, forming long rows streaming along the pathways. The uniformity of type prompted Sharon to explore the individual character of the bench with minimal line drawn cyanotype prints. Christine noticed how the bark on the trees near the tennis courts had formed to resemble diamonds as if bursting from the tree. Working in acrylic on canvas, the composition explores colour making reference to those found in the park while also playing with surface and texture.
Preparing the space
The group of artists and their ‘plus ones’ were given two rooms in a disused building, known as the Old Laundry. With plans in place for the buildings redevelopment the group were invited to ‘do anything you want to the space”. Recognising the locations history and character existed on all its surfaces in the form of writing, layers of paint, labels and a unhealthy covering of sawdust the group decided to clean and conserve bringing back a sense of pride and revealing as much of the locations character as possible. And so, over the proceeding weeks we removed piles of rubble, cleared loads of rubbish, swept up, painted walls and brought the rooms back to a standard to be proud of. We also found tools and objects which were placed within the ‘Old Laundry Museum’.
Curating the space
Siblings, friends, husband and wife, grandmother and granddaughter, colleagues; the pairs were various and the resulting works diverse but as the artworks were installed and the space curated links between process, form, pattern and more were discovered. A new visual conversation was formed within the group.