An inspirational walk – Cardiff Arcades (Subject yr 1)

Pad Deco Boutiquelamps

Artist – Kerrie Brown

Cardiff is also known as the ‘City of arcades’for the highest number of indoor shopping arcades in the whole UK (total length of 797m, 2,655 ft.). The style is mostly Victorian and Edwardian, it feels like stepping back in time. Inside, you can walk around a wide variety of shops. Due to my interest of study, one has caught my attention in particular, the Pad Deco Boutique. It is known to exhibit artisan-made products and fabulous home interiors made by well-known or emerging artists selected from all around the world.

When I walk through the city center (or wherever I am actually), I find it inevitable to stop at every step just to refresh my eyes with other artists work. And it’s everywhere, in a painting, a dress or a little brick in the wall, the list is endless. In this case, I found inspiration in three artists.

  • Kerrie Brown with her colorful and sophisticated pillows. I admire how she was able to maintain a sense of fun touch.
  • Missoni is an eternal classic which inspires every year with its distinctive style of a bold combination between stripes and colours.
  • Last but not the least, the vibrant and exotic fabrics from Swarm Design, from which I could’t take my eyes off, wondering about the colour palette and the way he might have used photoshop. A great result for the tropical trend.
Artist – Missoni
Artist – Swarm Design

Inside Cardiff Castle (Subject yr 1)

The first task for the class was for us to divide in groups and walk around the city to get to know each other better and discover Cardiff’s beauties. We firstly choose Cardiff’s Symbol: The Castle.

Once you arrive in Cardiff, the first thing to catch your attention is the Castle which is located right in the city center at the entrance of a huge park, Bute Park. The fortification was originally built late 11th century then rebuilt and adjusted in time to become as we see it now. Cardiff Castle has been involved in several conflicts during history, the last one during the Second World War  when its outer walls became an air raid shelters (structures for the protection of non-combatants as well as combatants against enemy attacks from the air – Wikipedia). In 1766 the Castle was handed to the Bute family who gave it in tribute to the city of Cardiff in 1947. At first it hosted the National College of Music and Drama and from 1974 became Wales’ most popular attraction. Right next to the Castle there is a ‘taxi boat’ that goes from Bute Park till the heart of Cardiff Bay guiding tourists and locals through the famous River Taff of the Welsh Capital.

View of the Trebuchet and the Castle apartments in the back


View of the Norman Keep and the North Gate inside the walls
Tunnels within the walls

A first visit to the Castle it’s certainly recommended, better if accompanied with the audio guide. The most curious and unexpected spectacle were the tunnels inside the outer walls, not immediately recognizable. These were used as well for refugee during the Second World War for the people of Cardiff. At the sound of the sirens up to 1800 people could fastly access the cold and wet tunnels which provided kitchens, toilets, first aid posts and dormitories but people had to bring their own sheets and blankets from home.

The Arab Room
Texture making on the floor of the wall

Like all suggestive and historical places, Cardiff Castle it’s a cauldron of inspiration for artists and mostly for surface designers where they can see motifs in the most unexpected places. 🙂