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Today, (6 August) seven pieces of hanging art have been unveiled in Cardiff’s historic arcades in this year’s ‘City of Arcades’ campaign – The Art and Soul of Cardiff – run and funded by FOR Cardiff.
A 21-foot-long angel suspended from the ceiling, sculptures balancing on tightropes and huge murals of Cardiff castle’s famous animal wall are just a few of the pieces on display.
In collaboration with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, FOR Cardiff has commissioned seven alumni to create pieces of suspended art – to celebrate Cardiff’s distinct and vibrant culture.
Education, history, green spaces, music, arts and theatre, food and drink, and sport are the key themes which FOR Cardiff think makes Cardiff a diverse city of culture.
Each piece of art forms part of a wider themed collection which will encourage the public to visit each arcade to get the full story.
Following on from the success of the inaugural City of Arcades Day in 2019 – where more than 80 businesses put on special offers or hosted events across the seven arcades – 63% of businesses saw an increase in sales.
With footfall down by 31% across Wales during August 2021 compared to August last year and the businesses in the arcades are also looking to get back on their feet.
Adrian Field, Executive Director at FOR Cardiff, said: “Cardiff’s arcades are one of the capital’s strongest assets, and City of Arcades is about putting Welsh culture and Wales’ capital city on the map.
“Hanging these vivid pieces of art across the arcades is about making art and culture more accessible, while making Cardiff’s city centre a more attractive place for locals and tourists alike.”
Cardiff’s arcades are steeped in history with over 150 years of Welsh retail history brought together under a roof of classic Victorian and Edwardian architecture.
FOR Cardiff hopes people will come out and continue to support city centre businesses.
Rory Fleming, Centre Manager of the Morgan Quarter, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome the return of City of Arcades campaign this year.
“The Morgan and Royal arcades are filled with some of the city’s most unique businesses, and this incredible exhibition will help drive footfall through the arcades, and into stores.”
The artwork is on display from Friday 6 August and people are encouraged to visit the arcades and enjoy the art up close.
Sean Crowley, Director of Drama at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, said: “After a difficult 18-months for those in the creative industry, we’re delighted to play our part in this year’s campaign, and help give creatives the boost and exposure they need.”
The seven commissioned pieces will be unveiled across the City of Arcade’s social media platforms, and FOR Cardiff is encouraging people to support the artists and share photos of the artwork on Twitter (@cityofarcades_) and Instagram (@thecityofarcades).