Ely street artists design pathway to the past
2 April 2013
Young people from North Ely Youth Centre have created a striking new mural to signpost a new heritage trail that will soon be developed around the Caerau Iron Age hillfort, as part of a project directed by academics of Cardiff University.
The 15 metre long mural was designed and developed by the young people as part of the Pathway to the Past initiative funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and coordinated by the CAER Heritage Project and a local community organisation, Action in Caerau and Ely.
Designed during a series of intensive street-art workshops devised by CAER Heritage Project (CHP) lead artist Paul Evans, in close collaboration with St Fagan's Iron Age expert and artist Ian Daniel, and CHP directors Dr Oliver Davis and Dr David Wyatt of Cardiff University, the mural features two Iron Age Roundhouses, 'Ely beans' and graceful 'celto-graffiti' lettering spelling out the word 'Caerau' which means forts in Welsh.
As part of the project the young people visited the Iron Age village reconstruction at Castell Henllys in West Wales. Here they engaged in two dynamic workshops, the first, a digital photography activity, based on the micro-montages of street artist Slinkachu and the other a variation on the eco-graffiti activities that the artist has used to great effect during previous stages of the project.
To bring their ideas to paper the group then engaged in two days of drawing workshops which were used to generate letters and figures that were then developed into finished designs for council approval. The young people were then given a choice of five designs based on their ideas and motifs.
Dr Dave Wyatt and Dr Oliver Davis of the Cardiff University School of History, Archaeology and Religion are joint directors of the project. Dave said: "Passers-by have already made a number of very positive comments about the mural and it is apparent that the artwork functions brilliantly as a vivid, direct, contemporary connection to the site's ancient heritage."