Hidden City – Cardiff group project

It is had to notice things around you when you are in a rush. Most people leave their house at times if they need to be somewhere or do something, so the mind is automatically set to get from A to B. Which is hard to acknowledge surroundings.
As a group we went for a wonder, without having any particular destination and discovered a lot of great graffiti along the side streets and lanes (which i have already talk about in my previous blog)
Initially we were looking into graffiti and street art and we researching for some inspiration to help us get started with this project.
This is the stuff we found and really liked. We noticed that street art in Cardiff is mostly done in spray paint. Which does rub off in time and it is easy to be ruined. We looked at different medium which we could use so our pieces stand out from the rest and become more interesting, also would have longer lasting life time.




We looked at different artist to get inspiration relating our idea. Along the way we found space invader which i have already mentioned in my previous blog. He was for sure the biggest influence in our work and idea. We liked the fact how he created a lot of ‘packman’ mosaics and placed them all across towns, cities and different areas where people akwnolage things in different ways.
Another great artist we were able to relate our idea was Isaiah Zagar who is from Philadelphia and he build large scale mosaics. No gallery wanted to exhibit his work so he decided to open people eyes and start building mosaics in town and other open spaces. He also uses quotes and poems in his mosaics to provoke a reaction i believe or to stand out abit more from any other work.
Zagar works not only with tiles but he uses a lot of different mediums: glass bottles, a bicycle wheel, iron, cups, mirror and much more.
He have done a piece located on South Street in Philadelphia which take over few blocks around which seems absolutely incredible.

zagar magic-garden-philadelphia-600
We decided to do an experiment working with mosaic and including a graffiti art to it. We picked one of the graffiti pieces from Nothcote street which we found to experiment our mosaic idea on.
We all agreed that we liked the turtle street art the most sp we done a mosaic piece of one of the squares of the turtle shell.
shell turtle (1)
Amber measured it and drew the square on a piece of cardboard which after i used the piece to cut it out of wood in the workshop. As a team later on we got together and start building the mosaic using tiles we collected from different tile shops in town. We managed to match the tile colors pretty well to the original graffiti piece.

Once the mosaic was done we Photoshop the picture before ticking it to the actual piece of work in the street to see the outcome. Unfortunately we were short on time to do so.
turtle experiment
Once we looked at the Photoshop image of a graffiti and our mosaic on top, we realized the piece blends in too much with the street art also it is a bit too far away for many people to see it. The piece as nice as it is but we doubt it would of caused any reaction.
We looked at different areas in Cardiff to come up with a series of different mosaics to place around that would have an effect on people and make them express the emotion to the piece.
As a group we thought wealth and money is very strong subject so we looked at more run down areas in Cardiff and there for instance we have a faeces to show an extreme representation of more run down areas. Perhaps it is a bit outrageous but we are sure that would attract attention. Would be defiantly worth to try to record how fast the piece gets destroyed,damages or even perhaps agreed to the fact that the area it is as it would of been presented in the mosaic.
We have Photoshop a picture to see how would it look.
photoshoped mosaic
We also looked at wealthy areas and we decided to do a piece on a person drowning in money. I believe that would of caused a rather negative reaction as people do not want to come across as greedy even though most of us are weather we realize it on not.

As a group I believe me worked pretty well. We could improve on our timing a bit better for next time perhaps and also to have more structure within group but apart from that i think we have done well in bringing ideas together and using our skills to have an outcome.


Beautiful Poppies

Poppies are one of the most amazing flowers excising. Cornfield red poppies grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe and the annual seed will only germinate and bring new flowers next year in soil that has been disturbed. And so the poppy has a long association with Remembrance Day. Because Once the war was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields. Canadian surgeon John McCrae wrote a poem Flanders Fields which he was inpired after his good friend and fellow solder Alexis Helmer died in the Second Battle of Ypres.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae first noted how the poppies grew over the graves of soldiers. The damage done to the landscape in Flanders during the battle greatly increased the lime content in the soil, leaving the poppy as one of the few plants able to grow in the region.
American professor Moina Michael got inspired by the poem ”Flanders Fields” and resolved in an action in 1918 to wear red poppy year round to honor the soldiers who died at war. Moina Michael was the one who initiated and inspired to sell poppies and raise the money for the war’s orphans. Ever since wearing poppies led up to Remembrance Day and it still remains popular in many nations across the world.

For my Craft object I am determent to do flower balls as it really catches my eye and its something I desire to do. At first I tries looking up flowers and I settled with roses as they are pretty and symbolizes a lot of things depending on the color. But I stopped for a second and thought to my self what flower I like the most and what it means to to me. The answer was simple, my favorite flowers are Poppies and Daffodils. Daffodils because I absolutely love the smell and the yellow color of the flower, it lifts my mood up and makes me feel all summery. I like the fact that the flower is free plant and can grow anywhere the seeds blow. Also once you notice them growing all around you instantly know the weather is warming up and the winter is over.
Red Poppies on the other had has a lot more meaning to it than just smell or the color. Even tho Red color is one of my favorite colors perhaps that is why I am so drawn to them. I like the fact it is a free flower as well and the conditions it grows in. I remember when i was little there was a field with a lot off poppies growing all across is not too far from my grandmothers home. I still have this unforgettable view in my memory. Also I have lost my both grandfathers in the war so red poppy represents a lot to me too.
I come to the conclusion to use red poppies to flower balls i so desire to make.

Looking into hand made poppies:

Out of all hand made poppies that I found the most realistic looking poppy is made out of fondant which is cake icing but it goes hard enough to keep up the shape and stay in the flower ball.
I have never worked with icing aka fondant before as I am not much of a cook but I am willing to have a go as i do desire to chive a realistic poppy look. Any other material don’t seen to have such a effect. To make flower balls I need light enough material too which fondant or gum paste would suit perfect.
I found this video on youtube.com which contains full tutorial on how to make poppies out of fondant.

Looking forward in experimenting with this material.
Looking up flower balls to help me image how poppy ball would look or could be used. I found this picture of floating flower ball with gave me a great idea. On Remembrance Day poppy balls has a possibility becoming popular I believe. To remember the soldiers or your family lost members and let a poppy ball go down the river, lake or sea to truly admire and honor their bravery, not only would decorate our rivers but it would also gives us peace and realization in how many solders died throughout the years.

Recycle Art

We were set a brief to come up with an Art object, Craft object and Design object. For my Art object I decided to look up recycled art and the possibilities that lye within used/recycled materials. Recyling always intrigued me, not only becouse it is good for the environment bet becouse of the creativity of the people who come up with the recyled art. Some of the art pieces doesn’t even look that it has been made out of recyled materials as they are made so well. Even though in my opinion the beauty of the recycled art is that the recycled materials shows within art and is clearly viable.
I found some imagery on google that attracted my attention.
can top mirror
Unfortunately the website I found this can top mirror isn’t on English or any other language i would understand so I couldn’t find out much information on it.
The this wall hanging piece the bottle tops around it look like it belongs there and I could not imagine this any different. It has very retro sheek look which never goes out of fashion.

During the research on recycled art I come across this amazing website which contains links to all sorts of recycled art and some of them even contain tutorials how to create the items yourself.
Going through the website craftstew.com I found this brilliant idea of a tuna fish tin candle holder. That absolutely amazed me how simple and beautiful it is. I does contain very straight forward and simple tutorial. I will be deffinately tying that at home, as I always have plenty of tins lying about.

Also one of the best ones I thought was the mosaic tin can containers which could be used as a table decoration/organizer. I would deffinately would not mind one of those on my desk.

I have looked up on youtube to see if if there is any tutorials or ideas to get inspirations from. I have come across very interesting idea in using plastic spoons to create a wall art or decorate a mirror. Also the idea can be used in decorating a try or a clock. Also the colour of the spoon it can be what ever it suits you and your home deco as it is easy to spray paint the spoons the colour you like. I personally would decorate the spoons as well simply by placing some jems on the tips or possibly having tips of the spoons glittery. Ether way heres the video.

some more ideas:

Spoon decotated clock with full tutorial. Once again brilliant idea but i would add a personal touch to it with the glitz or some jems.

I found a clock out of butterflies that once i actually seen in a shop and it costed fair amout of money. I never tought it would be that easy to make. I guess because it looks so busy and cost a lot of money I automatically assume it would be difficult to make it. But clearly it is not. I does contain patiance i guess and skill of using sissors but not much more.

Very creatuive and simple wall art.

Group Collaboration – Hidden City

As a group of four without of knowing each other, surprisingly we had similar interests, which was Cardiff city architecture and street art. To start off the project and gather the ideas we have done a brainstorm.
After a joint decision that we are going to look into street art we went for a walk around Cardiff to take some pictures of graffiti. We found really brilliant art work on Northcote street walls that we found inspiring.










I find graffiti intriguing, I like the fact that “graffiti and street art movement gave voice to the community of people that no longer felt represented by their political class”

There are some very educational documentaries about graffiti and street art. To understand graffiti and its ‘politics’ I looked up for street art films based on true stories. By far the most important documentary about graffiti would be ‘STYLE WARS’ which was made in 1984. The film captures the street art movement and inspires the young artist around the world.

The film features priceless footage of the legends of graffiti artist
*Iz the Whiz

In a group discussion we admired the street art and notices one very important fact. Graffiti isn’t permanent as much as everyone thinks. There is always somebody who is going around and tagging someone else’s work or possibly out of jealousy painting over on some skilled street art piece. The picture we took that attracted out attention to the subject was taken in Northcote Street where street art is most popular.
On that subject I found a relatively important documentry on how some people in America who do not support graffiti and think its vandalising the city so they go out at night and paint over the graffiti and street art with silver paint or sray paint.
I found that rather interesting as in my opinion they are doing more damage than the graffiti artist themselves.

Se we start thinking what are possible ways to make graffiti permanent or to last longer without being ruined.
Along with our research we found this artist called Space Invader which we found inspirational. He is a French urban street artist and he does mosaic art and sticks them on the wall for people to see. SpacevInvader who’s identity is still kept hidden called himself after 1978 game space invaders. He does mosaics of packman that use to be the characters in the game. I like the way his art work is completely different from any other street art but still keeps the same principle as graffiti.
To look up for more of his work here’s the link.
Detailed info on the artist; http://www.stencilrevolution.com/profiles/space-invader/

As a group we decided mosaics would be the perfect solution in keeping the art on the walls more permanent. Mosaic tiles are had to ruin, are weather resistant and if someone decides to spray paint it, it is possible to clean it off and it would be just as good as new.
Keeping that thought in mind we thought of turning graffiti art into a mosaic, so it would ha a chance it staying in its place for longer without getting damage by jealousy or other artist tags. Also it brought our curiosity in how people would react to it. Would anyone still count that as vandalism? or would it count more as art because its an old fashioned technique? also would anyone try to ruin it or take it off?

To bring our idea forward we decided to do an experiment and build a mosaic of one part of graffiti that we have found in Cardiff and stick our mosaic on top of chosen graffiti part. As a group of four we most liked the graffiti art of a turtle in Northcote street. It is colorful cartoony and little bit mad. the chosen part we decided to be one square of the turtles shell.
shell turtle (1)
First we measured the dimensions of the square we wanted to do. Then draw it out on the paper and cut it out so I could use my ‘maker’ skills and cut it out, out of piece of wood board.
group one
After that all we had to do is to draw the picture on the piece of wood that has been cut out and start building the mosaic. We picked 2 in 1 water resistant 3D wood adhesive for external and internal use called ‘Bond it’ and white grout to use later on to finish off the mosaic.

As a group we all went shopping for the tiles to match the graffiti colors, as we wanted to blend in with in the picture on wall. Luckily a tile shop on Newport Rd as very generous and gave us some tiles for free so we didn’t have to spend a fortune on it. Of course we did have to purchase couple colors but between four of us it was practically penny’s.
Once we were back at the studio where all the magic happened, got to say we had fun in smashing the tiles up.
wrk 2
wrk 3

Once the mosaic was complete which did not take very long to do as it was three of us doing we had to wait for 24h for the glue to dry completely before putting the grout on top. Once the grout is placed on top and in the gaps we had to wait another 24h to grout to get firm before cleaning the top.


Once the piece is done we are going to stick the mosaic on top of the square of graffiti picture and record the changes of the piece. To see weather anyone going to take it off or possibly try to ruin it.