Thompson Street wall panels, Barry

Thompson Street wall panels, Barry


As part of the regeneration of Thompson Street in Barry, this project was identified as critical in strengthening the link between the town centre and the Waterfront.

Towards the southern end of the road there is a progressive widening of the street frontage, and at the end of the street there is a single warehouse style retail unit with a plain brick façade. The area here lacked a focal point and the street didn't attract or invite people arriving from the new Thompson Street footbridge. The façade was identified as the location for an artwork and artist Tom Pearman was appointed to create a two dimensional work.

Inspired by postcards of Barry and Barry Island, and the early 20th century cinema that used to stand on Thompson Street, ‘Leon Vint’s Electric Palace’, Tom created vitreous enamel montages depicting well known icons and views of Barry using backgrounds and foregrounds from old postcards. Next to the large panels are smaller panels which refer to the process of cinematic light-projection, which is to first, turn the lights off, second, plug in the projector and third, switch the projector on.

The enamel panels were commercially printed using 4-colour separation, and celebrate the postcard printing industry and the various degrees of printing patterns that become evident when magnified.

Tom held several workshops at local schools and youth groups where he created a series of stop frame scenes with them. Using Barry as a backdrop the youngsters enveloped themselves in the creation of a narrative of ‘Monsters Invading Barry!’. To find out more about the workshops and see the films visit: