Canada Road paving scheme

Canada Road paving scheme


Artists Heather Parnell and David Mackie were appointed by Cardiff Council’s Neighbourhood Renewal team to work with pupils at Ysgol Mynydd Bychan to design an artwork or series of artworks for Canada Road.

In considering the site and the school, two themes became apparent to the artists as the most suitable themes to explore with the school pupils. The first theme was inspired by the area’s street names – named after the colonies – Canada, Africa, Australia, Newfoundland and New Zealand. Pupils worked with the artists to interpret images of art, design and botany from these countries through drawing motifs and patterns.

The other theme was textiles since Ysgol Mynydd Bychan has many examples of textiles from around the world hanging on the corridor walls. Textile patterns inspired some of the individual motifs but more significantly, the overall design of the artwork makes reference to the pattern of a traditional Welsh blanket.

The result is a paving ‘blanket’ created from a patchwork of 44 unique drawings by the school children, who were delighted to see their drawings permanently installed outside their school. There was much excitement the morning after the installation!

The technique used to recreate the children’s drawings on the paving slabs is to produce a template for each design with a resist where there is no line, so that when the slab is grit-blasted only the design appears. The indentation of the line is then filled with a toughened paint, in this case a dark charcoal grey colour. The country names are inset into the paving slabs in stainless steel.

The scheme was officially opened on 13th April 2011.

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