madeinroath Blog

The 2017 Roath is open, night walk


“Well, it’s a marvellous night for a night walk with the stars up above so bright, a fantabulous night to see art works ‘Neath the cover of a January sky…..”

These were the words I was humming as I stood alone, holding onto a large red light outside a charming Edwardian church on a street corner in Roath in the bitter cold of a January evening. As the light began to fade and dusk turned into the inky blue of night we were putting the last minute bits and bobs to the evening adventures.

An event which signals the beginning of the creative year for all involved with Made in Roath and one which is a firm (if not cold) favourite. The event sees us taking a pleasant stroll through the streets of Roath stopping off at pre-arrange cultural points to enjoy and be enlightened by artists, poets, speakers, music makers and historians.  This year Made in Roath was illuminated by a large red light outside a charming Edwardian church on a street corner.

The proceedings begin at G39 (our local international contemporary art gallery) in the shadows of the towering structures of Cardiff and with the sounds and yellow passing lights of traffic on City Road, we gathered ready to begin. It was a lovely night, cold and dark and we were surprised at the amount of people who braved the conditions and crowded together in harmony with the sounds a violin player serenading the air.

The night walkers procession headed down City Road to the now rubble filled site of the former Poets Corner Pub where we heard the message that its better to do something rather than nothing. Onward then pushing down to where a proud car garage once stood, now transformed into a restaurant, a sign of the changing nature of the city and City Road in particular. Onward once again with an unexpected turn down a dark ally way and into the Yurt of Miligis where we learned about the history of the area.

Off we went again, moving on quickly we headed passed a charming Edwardian Church illuminated very nicely by a very large red light on the street corner which served as an indicator as where to go next (see we had a plan for that). After another ally, this one containing refreshments and hot potatoes we finished the night at Welcome House, Made in Roaths current studio space, for a tour of the artist studios and to get warm around a roaring outdoor fire.
It was a whistle stop tour of the night and its culture, a tale telling glimpse into the cultural heart of the city. As we the a new year, a refreshing reminder that yes there are things going on and yes there are people doing things so why don’t we join them and do things too.

Cultural, musical, historical, writing, speaking, learning and enlightening things, I’d recommend all those things and more to try in 2017.

28 The Parade

This post was originally posted at on 19/11/16 by Dai Howell.

One of the largest venues in this year’s madeinroath festival was 28 The Parade. This former Edwardian family home, very kindly lent to us for the week by Cardiff Council, played a key role in the happenings and events this year hosting the launch celebration ‘Join the Parade’, the madeinroath Open Exhibition, as well as exhibitions such as ‘Pillow’, “a collective work about perception”; NONARCHY’s group exhibition; PhotoRenga workshop & exhibition; and Sara Rees’ ‘Fragments for a City in Ruins’.

The history of 28 The Parade is worth mentioning. Built by an Edwardian shipping magnate as his home, with the unusual feature of a dome-like tower on the roof which contained a telescope so that he could watch his ships coming and going from Cardiff docks. At the turn of the century, Cardiff docks were actually busier than New York with ships bound for every port in the world. You can still see the owner’s family crest on the upper parts of 28 The Parade. After the shipping magnate had died and Cardiff dock was in decline, the property was given to the local education board where it became an adult learning centre. Until quite recently it operated as a language school.

Currently uninhabited and up for sale, 28 The Parade briefly came to life again, becoming a centre for the arts, a home to creativity and entertainment, and a place to enjoy and think before going forward into the next chapter of its life.

On the opening Sunday we saw a fantastic musical celebration taking place, with lights being projected onto the back of the building in one of the most technology advanced things madeinroath has ever done. We watched as blues and purples rolled over the building, creating patterns and shapes interplaying with the 120-year-old Edwardian stonework. Below this a fantastic mixture of musicians played, entertaining the crowd who were gathered on the grass in the cool October air.

Later on in the week 28 The Parade played host to the madeinroath Open. This open exhibition of work was a great success and generated a lot of interest with people voting for their favourite work. Meanwhile, exhibitions on the ground floor and basement provided a series of multimedia works by various artists. As you ventured outside, you’d find the ‘Pillow’ multimedia exhibition which was located in the back building.

28 The Parade was a fantastic venue which served the festival well, leaving everyone who visited with fond memories. I doubt I will ever pass the building again without remembering the week it was host to so much art. Whatever the future holds for 28 The Parade, be it offices, flats or just a hollow shell containing only memories. It will always have been, for a brief point in its history, a creative community space.