Week One Project- Exploring the City of Cardiff

Cardiff Market

While on my adventure into Cardiff City Centre I came across an old indoor market, which I thought looked to be an old rail station remodeled into a market due to the Victorian architecture of cast iron and glass paneled ceilings, like they have at Liverpool street in London. When asking one of the traders inside the market about the history of the building, he said there is no History, and for 120 years now this building had always been a market. However, he did report saying that people believed it was once part of a prison and hangings took place there. But history shows that the building was built on the same foundations as the prison and may contain the same walls built purposely for the Prison.

I was really inspired to find something so old yet so beautiful in an upcoming town like Cardiff. Its not unusual to see old things become unused due to wear and tear and never reopen! But the lively hood of all the market traders and the customers made the atmosphere a great place to come. Every single stall is used and its such a beautiful old building.

Although the history of the building is not as interesting as I thought, I still like the idea that the building is very thought-provoking, to not just me, but the market traders and the customers. Being that it was built during the Victorian era, there are still lots of significant items within the building which I think creates the picturesque setting. Including the large H. Samuel clock hung above the high-street entrance, which has been broken for a long time now. Like the clock you could suggest that the market is stuck in a time zone, which I think its pretty clever and beautiful to think about when realizing how beautiful it once was and it still is today because it has been treasured and loved.

The Idea of shopping in a market is a lot more personal then going into a big branded store in the high street. Within Cardiff, this market holds great significance to residence and allows tourists like myself to visit a different era, where we can learn about the history of how Cardiff became such an upcoming modern city.

In response to this, I produced two small print designs based on the ceiling in the market and the gate by the entrance way. Obviously I didn’t follow the pattern completely but I’m still happy with how they turned out. Especially looking at the gate because I love the different shapes and colours used. I also tried to copy the clock using newspaper. I thought the colours were interesting and managed to get similar colors out of the newspaper I found.


Cardiff Bay

On my trip to Cardiff bay, I had a wonder round lots of the quaint shops and restaurants, where I came across some very distinctly designed chairs. These are both images I took of chairs at different restaurants in Cardiff Bay. Both images are very distinct because of the colours and shapes used. I really like the purple chair because its see threw making it very unique to normal chairs, plus the pattern is very random and un repetitive which make it harder to look at. In comparison the red chair has a mirrored pattern and reminds me of the art nouveau movement.

In response to the red chair, while travelling to the bay I found an old bus ticket, and used it recreate a similar pattern using alike shapes. I thought this was a cute idea using something I found in a similar colour although before I started I didn’t study the image enough and drew a line down the middle not knowing the line doesn’t continue down the whole chair. I’m still happy with the outcome because I think it looks interesting having a mirrored pattern on something that is less structured, with a random pattern of words.

In contrast with the pattern I created for the red chair, I decided to try something completely different for the response to the purple chair. By printing out the design onto A3 paper and cutting it out of acetate. I thought this was a good idea because I could then explore layering techniques with other patterns.  Plus, I could also use it for a stencil, but because it isn’t a repeated pattern, it is an irregular patter it would only work as a one off pattern. However, I still like the overall idea of using acetate to look at layering patterns.


Cardiff Bay Train Station

Today I managed to travel to Cardiff bay all by myself, after finding out about the almost derelict train station near the bay, online. Located near the very popular and upcoming Tiger Bay, it is one of the buildings that seems pretty relevant to me and where I come from.

The train station opened in 1840 and was originally known as ‘Cardiff Docks’, but the station was later renamed ‘Bute Road’ in 1924 by the Great Western Railway and is still called that today. Although it is near lots of tourist attractions at the bay, there is now only one platform in use. Its listed as a grade 2 building due to this station having the first steam powered passenger train in Wales, however it was restored in 1980.

The Cardiff Bay train station was once the main train line in World, exporting 10 Million tonnes of coal annually from Cardiff Docks. Although after the second World War, Cardiff docks saw a decline in trade. The history of this derelict building interests me a lot because I have lived in Felixstowe all my life, which is named ‘The Port of Britain’. In comparison to my home town, it does not look possible that this train station once held the trade going from Wales, all over the world. Although still in use, it seems a shame to see it in such poor condition because of the powerful history behind the building to Cardiff.

Derelict buildings really interest me because each one has history. Obviously in this case, we lost interest due to decline in demand for use of exporting coal after World War 2. From the I really like the different textures you can see on the walls of the building; from the fragile, peeling smooth paint to the rough plaster behind.  And all the different color elements, including the graffiti which covers both surfaces.  I also love the idea of locked doors, which were once in use, but now locked and hidden away from the public eye. Again adding to the history and secrecy of the building that is unknown.  This is an image found online from April 1963 showing the now disused platforms and extensive track work. http://www.urban75.org/blog/cardiff-bay-railway-station-in-old-tiger-bay-quietly-rots-away/

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