Paving artwork for Holton Road, Barry

Paving artwork for Holton Road, Barry


This public art project is the first of many to be commissioned for Barry Town Centre in the next few years as part of the ongoing regeneration of the town centre. A transformation has already taken place with the refurbishment of the Town Hall, King Square and Central Park - the first phase of regeneration work.

A public art strategy for Barry Town Centre was completed by Celfwaith in the summer of 2007 and this paving art project is the first public art project to be implemented from the strategy. The second phase of regeneration was to widen the pavements of Holton Road and install new street furniture to give more priority to the pedestrian.

There are 120 paving slabs with art designs integrated into the pavement along Holton Road, located at the junction points. Artists Heather Parnell, David Mackie and Andrew Rowe developed the theme for the artwork with children from two local Schools - Holton Rd Primary and St Helen's RC Junior Schools. Shops past and present and the types of wares shown in window displays were researched and children drew objects they imagined would be sold at chemists, toy shops, green grocers, hardware stores, confectioners, stationers and haberdashery shops.

The artists created the final designs, which have an almost trompe l'oeil effect, to look like shopping bags dropped on the floor with the contents falling out scattered across the pavement. The designs were etched into the paving slabs and filled in with a tough charcoal coloured paint to look literally like pencil drawings on the pavement. Within each design there is also an item in bronze relief such as a pencil, an orange or biscuits, to add colour and shine.