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Old September 6th, 2007, 11:58 PM   #1
cardiff
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Public art in Wales

Spured by a new statue of Ivor Novelo in Cardiff bay, i thought this might be a good place to discuss new as well as older public art in Wales. Im sure we all know about the art to be placed at the entrances to Wales, are these aproved yet?

So to start off here is the article

"THIS is the first glimpse of how the statue of Welsh Hollywood legend Ivor Novello planned for Cardiff Bay will look.

A limited number of prints of the soon-to-be-cast sculpture by Peter Nicholas go on public display at the Washington Gallery, Penarth, at 6pm tomorrow night. Fundraisers are hoping the £180 prints will help them raise the £85,000 cost of the 12-ft tall bronze, which will be sited in the public space in front of the Wales Millennium Centre.

“We’re nearly halfway to reaching our target of £85,000 to complete the sculpture,” said Hilary David, who started the appeal.

At the moment, the only reminder of the 1920s’ film idol in his home city, is a small plaque at the side of the house where he grew up in Cowbridge Road East, Canton.

Novello first earned fame by composing the song Keep the Home Fires Burning during World War I.
After the war, he began a film career, appeared on the West End stage and went on to star in two early Alfred Hitchcock films The Lodger (1927) and Downhill (1927)."


Firstly where is the public space (its quite a big area, what axis is it) and how will it compete for space with the glass fountain? Its really good though that it is placed outside a relevant building and that we are marking a great native person.

Here is some modern art that IMO is great





and im not too sure about these:

these look good in the bay as they reflect the areas history, but they dont work so well on the main shopping street which is the most high class shopping area of the city





these look kind of childish ( i hope they wernt done by kids! lol which would be quite gimiky IMO for such a prominant site)

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Old September 7th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #2
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When exactly is Mr Novello going to appear! I remember giving a small donation to this appeal about two years ago.

The Merchant Seafarers Memorial outside the Senedd (per your photo) is a great example of good public art.

I also like The Celtic Ring at the foot of the Oval Basin



I also quite like the 'Soviet style' monument outside Custom House, opposite the Marriott, although I know that it's not to everyone's liking!




and the 'People Like Us' sculpture in the bay





Two less inspiring examples which spring to mind are the blue and salmon coloured 2 faces metal artwork on Lloyd George Avenue - no pic available

and the neglected Cader Idris monument outside Central Station.



This latter project would look good if it was cleaned once in a while. It's filthy at the moment, and appears to be an overspill seating area for Burger King.

Last edited by wizard; September 10th, 2007 at 04:05 PM.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 01:57 PM   #3
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Cardiff really does have some excellent public art.

Of the older public art I really like the Boer War memorial between the City Hall and the Law Courts, the National War Memorial and the statues flanking the doorway of the Old Library.

Of the newer stuff the Merchant Seamen memorial is superb and the Scott memorial near the Cardiff Bay visitor centre is a good new edition. I also like the Magic Roundabout, the railings on Mill Lane and the carved figures that crop up unexpectedly in Bute Park.

I wonder why art does not form part of new buildings? There is often a commitment to public art for major projects but it never seems to be incorporated into the building itself anymore. A good example is the buildings in Callaghan Square. The public art element at No1/2 are random lights in the pavement in front that I have never seen lit. Seems a waste to me.

Also fountains in Cardiff leave a lot to be desired. The Callaghan Sq one really doesn't do anything fro me or the rather puny offering at the Flourish (the triangular piece of land in front of the WMC). The biggest disappointment is the fountain in front of the City Hall. It's like something you would find in the courtyard of a middling out of town business park. Where is the majesty, the sense of approach to what is probably the best building in Cardiff? I'd like that to be completely overhauled as well as the land fronting on to the City Hall that is currently used as an ad hoc car park.

Wizard - I think the Ivor Novello statue is to go outside the WMC towards the end thats nearest the Pierhead building.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 02:45 PM   #4
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The National War Memorial:




The Scott Memorial




The Magic Roundabout



I agree that Cardiff's fountains are a perrennial disappointment, whether they be the new ones at the Flourish or the older ones at City Hall. Let's face it, they're glorified hosepipes.

Wouldn't it have been a great centenary project for the City to have campaigned for a fitting fountain frontage (what an alliteration) to City Hall!
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Old September 7th, 2007, 03:26 PM   #5
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Sorry Wizard, having re-read your post I notice that you asked WHEN and not WHERE the Ivor Novello statue will be erected. The Echo reported yesterday that half of the estimated 85k costs has been raised for the statue so I guess it could be a substantial wait before we see it unveiled.

As for your comments re the City Hall, your forum fulminations on fitting fountain frontages find full favour....

One other new piece of public art that I really like - a small statue in the Gorsedd Gardens simply called Girl. It's part of the Robert Thomas collection but to my mind isn't as stiff and mannered as the group statues in Queen St. There is also a Barbara Hepworth (I think) outside the School of Music in Corbett Road which is pretty good.

And whilst I'm at it I hope that the Peerless Jim Driscoll statue gets replaced in a prominent position as soon as Meridien Gate is completed.

What about public art in Swansea, Newport, Ponty, north Wales etc. Any images anyone care to post??
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Old September 7th, 2007, 04:08 PM   #6
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Never seen the one by the Customs House but I've got to admit I really do like it. But then again I've always had a fondness for soviet/communist public art as it always had a certain epic quality.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #7
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I like the little girl statue as well, but whats its purpose? is it a memorial?

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Old October 5th, 2007, 11:21 AM   #8
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What does everyone think of the new Falklands memorial?



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Old October 5th, 2007, 12:55 PM   #9
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Meh

It doesn't look right, looks like they were planning to have a statue then found out they were going to get the stone from the Falkland Islands but decided to keep the plinth.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 01:16 PM   #10
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The plinth material should have been Portland Stone (to match the surrounding buildings).

I'm also not too keen on a lump of stone as a memorial per se, because it gives the impression that a mason has yet to arrive to finish the job.

If this stone/rock had to be used, I would not have used the plinth in the pic but I would have placed the stone on a circular raised base, with maybe a few steps all around
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