madeinroath Blog

Guest Post: From Art to Art…

IMG_5107 - CopyIf you like art then you’ll probably be the sort of person who likes asking questions and exploring ideas… and the best way to do that is to respond with your very own piece of art!

I took part in the community walk ‘By My Side Come Rain Or Shine’ on Sunday, and it was a fantastic introduction to Made in Roath (glorious sunshine too!) as well as a perfect example of turning art into art. Our first stop was the Passchendaele poem, up on the wall of Juno lounge (no.38). The new dark red wall provided a striking backdrop for this eerie apocalyptic postcard design which features an extract from a chilling poem by Alfred Noyes, written in 1916.

As we stood there, with cars rushing past on Wellfield Road, we were absorbed into an oasis of silence, listening to the artist Paddy Faulkner recite a poem which someone wrote just a few days ago, in response to looking at this very image – a poem from a postcard of a poem… from one piece of art to another…

And now it’s your turn…

Take a look at the artwork on display during Made in Roath, and find something interesting, something that makes you wonder, makes you think… then write a poem in response. It doesn’t have to be long, or complicated. It doesn’t even have to look like you expect a poem to look (this is Made in Roath after all). Just write it down, and then send it (along with a photo of the artwork that inspired you) to by 5pm on Friday, and you’ll be entered into the Ekphrastic Challenge Poetry Competition. Go on… give it a go!IMG_5098

The prizes include:

  • Online publication right here on the Made in Roath blog
  • A £15 book token
  • An impressive book on world art
  • The chance to have your work displayed at ‘Three Doors Up’ art space in Queens Arcade

“Only our silence, in the night, shall grow
more silent, as the stars grow in the sky;”

(An extract from the poem by Alfred Noyes)

The 2nd image in this post shows art from no.73 'A Curious Nature' by Philippa Brown.

The day before Made in Roath 2017

Its just one more day to go before Made in Roath 2017 begins. (Altho technically we have the Open exhibition starting in a few hours in the Gate followed by the Wonderful Wonderbrass giving a special 25 birthday performance so you could say it actually starts tonight). But with over 100 events, activities, happens, exhibitions and general things going on, all packed into the seven days of Made in Roath I hope you can excuse us for sneaking one or two events in early.


Im pretty excited about this years festival, we have some amazing events coming up. We of course have a hole host of exhibitions and happens which are far too numerous for me to name but all of them are fantastic in their own right.

I’ve been trying to work out a way to describe Made in Roath and the only thing I can think of is a Solar System. A Solar System is made up of a collection of stars. Each star burning brightly and unique to the planets which orbit her. But put them together and that star forms a cluster which in turn spirals round to create a Solar System that from a distance is this incredibly beautiful mass of colour and light while if you zoom in you discover individual stars burning brightly. Thats how I like to think of the festival, that together its this fantastic mass of creativity but zoom in and you discover individual events which stand alone in their brilliance and if they happened alone would be no less great but because they are happening within the festival they all contribute into creating this amazingly bright week of art and culture which is Made in Roath. Whats even better is it’s all free. Every event and happening for Made in Roath can be enjoyed for free.

Which is pretty darn ninja really.

There is of course a few events which I really should mention. Tonight we see the Made in Roath Open - the free to submit open exhibition which anyone can enter. Beginning in The Gate art centre at 6pm, following by Wonderbrass (Cardiff’s brasses brass band) celebrating their 25th birthday.

Then tomorrow, Sunday the 15th we have LOADS of events and exhibitions starting all over Roath but I really should mention “By My Side, Come Rain Or Shine” a special walk we’ll be holding through the streets of Roath from the Roath Rec (the sporty bit of the park) to the Inkspot art space. The CREATE team have been working away over the last few months with community groups in and around Roath to create a series of postcards and flags. All inspired by the communities of Roath. As we walk we’ll have a series of cultural stopping off points along the way before we end at Inkspot art space for the opening night amazement's. A musical party “Congregation”, organised by Ziggy our generally amazing music and very talented person. Congregation is the opening party to the festival and will captivate you with sounds and visual delights.

bymyside-James Cocks

Then we have the full week of everything under the sun going on. But Im going to skip forward to Friday to introduce a new exhibition space for us. The Old Laundry which you can discover on Braeval Street. The Old Laundry has a number of exhibitions and events from Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd. Including a special event on Friday night, We have a group display of artists exhibiting in the space.

Then Saturday, the busiest day of Made in Roath, we have over 121 events taking place on this day. Including “Longer Tables” our street party. Head down to Plasnewydd Road to discover where its all happening.

This weekend also sees lots of the fantastic Open Houses and exhibitions taking place. These are great and allow you to wonder around enjoying the delights of Roath in peoples homes and gardens.

Then in the evening we have Roathbud and the RedBalloon movie showings in the Gate.

We end on Sunday for another busy day. Rhôd in Roath are still going with guided tours at 2pm also our very own Paint the park is happening in Roath park with lots of actives and events taking place in and around the Bowling green hut.

Thats a very, very brief overlay of everything we have going on. For all the details do consult your festival brochures or the Made in Roath website.

As always thanks for reading and see you in Roath.



What is Happenings I hear you ask? Happenings is the name we have for all the works, performances, exhibitions and projects which have specially commissioned for Made in Roath. 

It’s the most devise and wide ranging aspect of the festival encompassing everything from stage plays and interventions on the street to indoor picnic’s (weather permitting of course “hehe”) and the carving of a massive Welsh love spoon.

Happenings will also see a full moon space project, story telling and much, much more.

 Happenings has always been one of the most interesting aspects of the festival. If you’re wandering around Roath and you see something that you’re not sure of then there’s a good chance it falls into Happens category of the festival.

This year coordinator is the fabulous Clare Charles who has really done an epic job of bring together a wide ranging bundle of events. We have stuff ranging from a CatZebra by artist Richard Higlet on the 21st and 22nd of October at the Park end of Kelvin Road (this encourages all cats and their owners to come along and test some specially built cat crossings) to Read to Me by artist John Rowley which takes place on the 21st of October on Treharris Street. At this fascinating event John invites you to simply bring along any piece of literature for a private reading session lasting 20 minutes (people must sign up in advance by emailing

There is also the epic In Honour of the Moon curated by Catherine Angle happening on Thursday the 19th of October at 8pm in Ysordi. This happening is an intimate dinner reception to celebrate Earth’s largest natural satellite, its folkloric traditions, it’s historical importance and the role in the universe. It promises to be an amazing night blending together science, magic and music. Again capacity is limited so please email if you are interested.

To be honest there is so much happening in Happenings that I promise you will find something for everyone here. The full listing of events is below but for a colourful option just consult the website.

PASSCHENDAELE (All Day) 38: Juno Lounge, 13 OCT - 22

OFFERING (All Day) 46: Saint Edwards Church, 13 OCT - 22

PUNCTURED BICYCLE, ON A HILLSIDE DESOLATE 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 02: I Want to Ride My Bike - 15 Oct

A CURIOUS NATURE 10:30 am - 3:00 pm (22) 73: Roath Park Conservatory, 15 OCT - 22

NOT FROM AROUND HERE (JOURNEYS) 10:30 am - 4:00 pm (16) 68: 91 Ninian Road, 15 OCT - 16

INDOOR PICNIC 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm 43: The Gate Arts Centre, 15 OCT 
‘THE LAST STRAW’ TREASURE HUNT AND QUIZ **DATE CHANGE** CLIVE WARD 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm 39: Waterloo Gardens Post Office, 15 OCT

BY MY SIDE, COME RAIN OR SHINE 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm 51: Penylan Library and Community Centre, 15 OCT 
TEA ENCOUNTER TESSA WAITE 2:30 pm - 6:00 pm 08: Plasnewydd Community Garden, 15 OCT

A LONG TABLE OF CURIOSITIES: ANATOMICAL DRAWINGS AND SCULPTURES 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (22) 09: The Broadway Drawing School, 16 OCT - 22

CARDIFF PHILOSOPHY CAFE - WHAT IS COMMUNITY? 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm 17: The Gate Arts Centre, 17 OCT

PORTRAITS WITH WET PLATE COLLODION TINTYPE PHOTOGRAPHY 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm (20) 34: The Old Laundry, 19 OCT - 20


NOT FROM AROUND HERE (JOURNEYS) 11:00 am - 5:00 pm (22) 68: 91 Ninian Road, 20 OCT - 22

THE ACTUAL HISTORY MUSEUM PRESENTS ... 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm 34: The Old Laundry, 20 OCT


CATZEBRA 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (22) 65: Park end of Kelvin Road, 21 OCT - 22


SLANT OF LIGHT 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (22) 61: 32 Kelvin Rd, 21 OCT - 22

RSPB BIG GARDEN BIOBLITZ 10:00 am - 4:30 pm 56: 29 Ninian Road, 21 OCT

COLLIDE-O-VISION - OBSERVATION OF BEAUTIFUL FORMS 11:00 am - 5:00 pm (22) 18: Garage at rear of 45 Princes Street, 21 OCT - 22

FFRWD 11:00 am - 6:00 pm (22) 25: 190 Albany Road, 21 OCT - 22

THE TEA STOP 12:00 pm - 5:30 pm (22) 64: 70 Ninian Road, 21 OCT - 22

ONE HOUR 12:00 pm 75: The Promenade, 21 OCT

READ TO ME 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm 14: 79 Treharris Street, 21 OCT

SYRIAN CHILDREN’S ART 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm (22) 21: St Martins Church in Roath, 21 OCT - 22

THE CHAMPION TREES OF ROATH PARK 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm 73: Roath Park Conservatory, 21 OCT

THE ACTUAL HISTORY MUSEUM OF ROATH 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm (22) 57: 14 Werfa Street, 21 OCT - 22

BLAS - STREETFOOD 'MADE IN ROATH' 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm 16: Mackintosh Sports Club, 21 OCT

 8:00 pm 59: Spit and Sawdust, 21 OCT 

JOINING WORDS DINO ROVARETTI 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 70: White bridge, 22 OCT


15 MINUTE PORTRAITS AT ADNAN CONTINENTAL STORE ELLIE YOUNG 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm 35: Adnan Continental Store, 22 OCT


RED OKTOBER JACOB WHITTAKER 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm 07: Punk Bikes, 22 OCT

Once again thanks for reading, see you in Roath.

Digital Arts

Tonight we are looking at the magical aspect of Digital Arts in this years Made in Roath festival.

What is Digital Arts? Well, it’s arts but it’s …. digital. Ok there is a bit more to it than that. Digital Arts is the name we give to the section of the festival involving “moving pictures” or “movies” as some people refer to them (for any of our younger readers a “movie” is like a really long snapchat video). 

Digital Arts is also the smallest part of this years festival with two main events taking place on the same day in the same place, one after another. This generally means two things: 1, Digital Arts is so awesome they can quite easily get away with just doing two events and, 2, this means I get to entertain you with my extensive movie trivia knowledge.

The term “movies” originally didn’t mean films but the people who made them. Generally it was a term of disdain by early Hollywood locals who disliked the “arty invaders”.

The smallest set for an entire action movie in terms of space was for the 1944 Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Lifeboat” which all happened on a small lifeboat.

Sam the piano player in beloved classic Casablanca can’t actually play the piano. Dooley Wilson the actor portraying Sam was hired as a singer and is just pretending to play the piano without touching the keys. But thats enough random movie facts from me back to Made in Roath.

Digital Arts all takes place on Saturday the 21st. It starts with a showing of classic French movie “The Red Balloon”. A magical film suitable for all ages about a boy who discovers a red balloon in Paris which follows him around on adventures. After this showing we have the ever popular “Roathbud”. This is a showing of short films from local makers or films with Roath connections. It is always a popular aspect of the festival. The high standards and uniqueness of the films shown are wonderful and offers something for everyone. I’d really recommend checking it out.

You can find out more about Digital Arts here or read the event listings below. This years Digital Arts has been coordinated by the genius that is Tom Betts.

21 OCT THE RED BALLOON 4:30 pm - 5:15 pm 17: The Gate Arts Centre

21 OCT ROATHBUD 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm 17: The Gate Arts Centre

As always thank you for reading and see you in Roath.


Good evening dear readers, I hope this evening finds you well. Tonight we are looking at the CREATE section of Made in Roath.

What is CREATE you ask? Well, do you remember when in primary school art lessons involved loads of fun stuff like painting, making and generally creating lots of mess? That is basically CREATE. It’s the workshop and making side of the festival. As you can imagine I flipping love CREATE and the work they do. 

 Over the last year CREATE have been running a series of workshops with local schools, charities and community groups doing creative and wonderfully messy crafts. They are one of the most active parts of Made in Roath and are generally going most of the year round.

During the festival week they will be transforming areas of Roath into workshop spaces allowing people to come along and play…. I mean make art work….. But it’s really fun art work (no offence to the not fun art work). CREATE is perfect for families and friends wishing to make.

They have a pretty busy week. Not counting all the workshops they are running CREATE also have some large scale events taking place. The first, on the opening day of the festival (15th Oct) is “By My Side, Come Rain or Shine”. Over the last six months Made in Roath has collaborated with artist James Cocks and community groups in Roath to design and make a series of flags representing the diverse nature of our community. These flags will be walked at the head of a gathering from Roath Park Rec to the Inkspot art space with cultural, music and tea stops along the way.

When we get to Inkspot (a festival hub this year) there will be food and entertainment. Join us to enjoy the opening nights celebration of music, “Congregation”, which is organised by Gareth Ziggy. It promises to be an evening of visual delights and sounds. I’m sure everyone who attended the opening night last year will remember the stunning performance and I certainly expect more of the same this year.

CREATE are also busy at our closed road event “Longer Tables” (21st) running a series of workshops up and down the street, plus on the closing day of the festival (22nd) they will be running the ever amazing “paint the park” event. This incredibly fun and amusing activity sees easels set up in Roath Park for the passing public to embrace their creative side and paint.

The CREATE coordinator is the brilliant Pip Tudor. You can check out all the CREATE events below or consult the website.

DRAMA WORKSHOP FOR 18+, EXPLORING THIS YEAR'S THEME OF 'LONGER TABLES' 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm 17: The Gate Arts Centre - 17 OCT

THE TRINITY CENTRE SEWING AND CRAFT CLUB 10:00 pm - 12:00 pm 04: Trinity Centre/Trinity Methodist Church - 20 OCT


PUBLIC CHESS 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 51: Penylan Library and Community Centre - 21 OCT

AN INTRODUCTION TO FELTING JANINA KUCZYS 10:00 am - 1:00 pm 71: Bowling Pavilion - 21 OCT


DAYDREAMS BY THE ART OF PLAY CAFE 10:30 am - 4:30 pm 51: Penylan Library and Community Centre - 21 OCT

FOOD 4 THOUGHT ~ YOU CAN HELP 11:00 am - 2:00 pm 17: The Gate Arts Centre - 21 OCT


BIG DRAW WORKSHOP 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm 21: St Martins Church in Roath - 21 OCT

PAINT ROATH PARK 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm (22) 57: 14 Werfa Street - 21/22 OCT

FOLDED BOOKS DROP-IN WORKSHOP 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm 46: Saint Edwards Church - 21 OCT

WORKSHOP: DRAWING WITH COLLAGE 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm 71: Bowling Pavilion - 21 OCT

PAINT THE PARK CREATE @ ROATH PARK 11:00 am - 4:00 pm 71: Bowling Pavilion - 22 OCT

SUN PRINTING CREATE @ ROATH PARK 11:00 am - 4:00 pm 71: Bowling Pavilion - 22 OCT

BUTTERFLY EFFECT KERRY WALLACE 11:00 am - 4:00 pm 71: Bowling Pavilion - 22 OCT


POETRY TAKEAWAY LOCAL WRITERS 11:00 am - 4:00 pm 71: Bowling Pavilion - 22 OCT

MASK CARVING WORKSHOP BRIAN DENMAN 11:00 am - 4:00 pm 71: Bowling Pavilion - 22 OCT


Always thanks for reading and see you in Roath.

Stage and Spoken word

I must begin this post with an apology. This might not be the most grammatically correct editorial. Im writing this under direst of an early start, a long day in work and a rather interesting train journey home involving a broken down train, a two hour delay and an over crowded train packed full of football fans during which time I fully understood the meaning of the phrase “hell is other people”. But on the upside it gave me the chance to listen to the hole of Fleetwood Mac Rumours album which was cool. But on the down side it also tends to bring out my dyslexic nature a little too much so I apologise in advance.

Now Im home with a cup of tea, posing over questions such as how European Starling got to America?

 I don't suppose you have ever wondered this? No? It’s rather an amusing tale. Its all because of Eugene Schieffelin, a New Yorker who in 1890 released 60 Starlings into Central Park. Fast forward 127 years that 60 strong flock have risen to a million drove who reportedly terrify and cause havoc to crops across North America. Why did he do this? Was it because he wanted to introduce a predator to the ever growing population of House Sparrows pests which he also released 30 years earlier? well no, Eugene Schieffelin did it because he was a massive Shakespeare fan. So much so that he wanted the New World to have an example of every bird mentioned in the Bards plays. Little weird I know but Eugene Schieffelin was a really big fan. His release resulted in causing a massive unbalancement to the natural Eco system of the continent and dramatically changing the food chain of North America. All because he really liked Shakespeare. 

Now I love this story, not because it’s a perfect example of Chaos theory but because it shows you what culture can do to you. It can drive you, inspire you, make you do mad, crazy, weird but brilliant things. It causes you to change the world in ways you’ll never realise and probably won’t understand at the time and yeah okay letting lose a load of birds because you are quite fond of some old plays and accidentally setting in motion a series of events that drastically alter the entire ecological system of a country is a little over the top but it can and has happened.

Actually residents of Roath might recall a similar story during the 90s of turtles turning up in Roath park after the popularity of the Teenage Ninja Turtles TV program (Hero’s in a half shell - TURTLE POWER). People bought turtles, not realising how large they grow and so let them go into the lake. You can still see the decedents of those turtles in the Roath park green house.

So back to Made in Roath. In tonights post we are going to look at the wonderful world of our Stage and Spoken word programs. Both are forever popular aspects of the festival and both have a tenable connection with Shakespeare so my beginning tale kinda fits in (sorta).

Our Stage coordinator is the fantastic Rachel Helena Walsh. Stage as you can guess is everything that is slightly performance related, some of it might involve a stage some of it might not (we like to add an air of mystery to things). We have an awful lot going on this year from blindfolded experiences in Inkspot, to the return of “The Dom Show - Threepeat” at Nofitstate. Pulse a lot more, including new work from newly seen artists. You can see a better list of performances here but a brief list is below


A SINGLE TREE: A CHRISTMAS TALE GONE WRONG 7:00 pm 05: Nofitstate Circus - 15 OCT

THE IRISH SESSION (SEISIÚN) 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm 49: The Albany - 15 OCT


ANDREW BUCHAN BAR FESTIVAL WEEK 8:00 pm 23: The Andrew Buchan Bar - 16 OCT

OPEN MIC AT THE DELI 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm 63: Deli Rouge - 18 OCT


LOOP/SPIRAL 7:00 pm 06: Inkspot - 19 OCT

THE DOM SHOW: THREEPEAT 8:00 pm - 8:30 pm 45: Cardiff M.A.D.E. - 19 OCT

THE ROATH HOP 7:00 pm - 11:30 pm 17: The Gate Arts Centre - 20 OCT

LAURA PALMER FANFICTION & THE MONOLOGUE LADY 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm 06: Inkspot - 20 OCT

ANDREW BUCHAN BAR FESTIVAL WEEK 8:30 pm 23: The Andrew Buchan Bar - 20 OCT

GEMINI ANDERSON SINGS TWIN PEAKS 9:30 pm - 10:00 pm 06: Inkspot - 20 OCT

'LITTLE N' BY KELLY JONES 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm 05: Nofitstate Circus - 21 OCT

ANDREW BUCHAN BAR FESTIVAL WEEK 8:30 pm 23: The Andrew Buchan Bar - 21 OCT

ANDREW BUCHAN BAR FESTIVAL WEEK 7:00 pm 23: The Andrew Buchan Bar - 21 OCT

So next up we have the fabulous Spoken Word, our coordinator this year is the brilliant Christina Thacher. Spoken word is the poetry and literary related aspect of the festival. Cardiff has a fantastic and very large spoken word scene which we are lucky to include into the festival. There is Open mic nights, workshops, a poetry contest, storytelling, poetry reading, bed time tales pulse much more. It all kicks off from day one of the festival and below is a brief list of events but do check out the website for more information.

 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm 11: The Crofts - 15 OCT

TEN STORIES HIGH PRESENTS: THE LAST CAMPFIRE 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm 06: Inkspot - 16 OCT


BETTER HOUSES - A LITERARY HOUSE PARTY 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm 32: The Diana Rooms - 17 OCT

FROM PAINT TO PAGE: AN EKPHRASTIC WRITING GROUP 7:45 pm - 9:30 pm 17: The Gate Arts Centre - 17 OCT

PROSE & POEMS EVENING 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm 17: The Gate Arts Centre - 18 OCT

BEDTIME STORIES 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm (21) 10: 34 Partridge Road - 19 - 21 OCT

OCTOPOET 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm 76: Terra Nova Café - 19 OCT

GLAMORGAN FOLK TALES FOR CHILDREN 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm 40: Wellfield Bookshop - 21 OCT

CREATIVE WRITING MASTERCLASS 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm 45: Cardiff M.A.D.E. - 21 OCT

POETRY TAKEAWAY LOCAL WRITERS 11:00 am - 4:00 pm 71: Bowling Pavilion - 22 OCT JUST A MINUTE, ROATH MARK BLAYNEY 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm 76: Terra Nova Café - 22 OCT

As ever thank you for reading and apologise for all the spelling mistakes, I hope they were amusing rather than annoying. See you in Roath.

Open houses and Exhibitions 2017

Well it’s just seven days to go before Made in Roath 2017. Seven days, one week, 168 hours, 10080 minuets, 604800 seconds (suddenly that doesn’t seem very much, eek better drink some tea and write some words). 

What I’m basically trying to get across to you is that your favourite (and coincidently your only) Roath based arts festival will return with another full week of creativity, happenings and craziness in just one weeks time. Regulars to the festival know that we try to pack in everything we can and always sorta do. We also have one or two things falling outside the week, for example we have the fantastic Wonderbrass 25th birthday celebrations in the Gate art centre happening on Saturday the 14th as a warm up event to the festival this year.

This years festival sees something in the region of over a hundred different events, happenings, exhibitions, poetry readings, performances, film screenings, Create workshops, open houses, presentations, readings, wall pastings and things which words have not yet been invented to describe… plus much, much more.

The good news is that we have a few different ways to help you navigate the creative maze of the festival. You can consult the festival brochure or view the festival event calendar. If you’d prefer you can check out all the different themed events on our website to keep up to date with all the events we have going on. We will also be writing a daily post featuring a different aspect of the festival to tell you more about what is happening and what we have to offer.

Today we thought we’d kick things off with the ever popular Open Houses/Studios and Exhibitions programs.

We start with Open Houses and Studios. This is always an exciting and fantastic aspect of the festival. Join us as we discover the hidden creative world behind the front doors of peoples (kindly donated) homes. Marvel at how living rooms and kitchens are transformed into art galleries and creative spaces. This is also a great way to meet, socialise and experience the richness of the community. The bulk of the Open Houses and Studios take place on Saturday the 21st but a few are open throughout the week. (Check the brochure or website for details.) This year the Open Houses and Studios have been organised and run by the ever brilliant Gail Howard. You can see the full list of the open houses by following the link on the website.

The other aspect of the festival we are looking at tonight is the Exhibition program. While this is partly a more traditional format for an arts festival, with pieces of art work stuck to walls there is also so much more going on. This year’s exhibition program has been organised by the wonderful Helen Clifford. Made in Roath has a proud history of a diverse and extensive exhibition programme which supports as many local galleries as possible. The Exhibition program also takes you into alternative public, private and community places. We have always aimed to provide artists, makers, performers and anyone wanting to share and display their creativity a space to exhibit. The Exhibition program takes place throughout the week you can see the full list of what is going on by following the link.

We'll be adding a new blog post each day about another aspect of the festival. We began tonight with two of the biggest and we hope you look forward to hearing about the others as the week goes on. As always thanks for reading.

Countdown begins

Made in Roath 2017 is fast approaching. The festival this year kicks off on the 15th of October and runs until the 22nd. We’ll have the usual seven days of art, poetry, stage, film, photography, workshops, unexpected street chess, random flag parades and loads, loads more filling the streets and homes of Roath.

The theme of this years festival is “When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence”. This is a global comment on the state of the world and a reflection on how lucky we are to live where we do in such a rich, warm, welcoming, creative community.

We see examples of this goodness every year when we put on the festival. Made in Roath couldn't happen without the generosity and kindness people show in helping, running or volunteering their time or space for the festival. The perfect example of this is in ‘Open Houses’. The fact that people open up their homes, turning them into art galleries for the enjoyment of others is the personification of this philanthropy.

We see it too in the creativity. It is always amazing to see the brilliantly creative, imaginative and inventive projects that are submitted to us. It’s fantastic to see these submissions come to life and jump from the page into reality for the seven days of the festival.


There will be tonnes going on each day. We'll be holding a special pre-festival event on Saturday the 14th in the Gate Art centre as Wonderbrass celebrates 25 years of music making. Then on Sunday the 15th we are especially thrilled to be launching this years festival with a special parade through Roath. “By my side, Come rain or shine” is a project designed to celebrate the diverse communities, locations, friends and families that make Roath a very special place to be.

Our CREATE coordinator Pip Tudor has been working with artist James Cocks and community groups over the last seven months, to make a series of postcards and flags representing each group. We’ll be walking these flags through Roath finishing at the Inkspot Arts space with Congregation, an evening of music, entertainment and refreshments.

We’ll be posting a new blog post featuring a certain aspect of the festival over the next few days but if you can’t wait then do check out the online brochure. 

As always thanks for reading, see you in Roath.

Volunteering with madeinroath

You know a lot of the best things that I’ve done have come from volunteering.

My two present jobs, for example, as well as a previous job as intern in a gallery all came via volunteering. I’ve made some great friends, heard, seen and created quite a few amusing memories and got to drink countless cups of free tea (WINNER, I know)

The point I’m trying to make is that volunteering is great, especially if you like tea. Even if you don't like tea then its still pretty great. Nearly everyone at Made in Roath or any art gallery, museum or cultural body started out as a volunteer. The experience you get, the friends you make and the free cups of tea (I mean it’s not all about the tea, there are other drinks apart from tea. I just don't wish to acknowledge them) make it a worthwhile endeavour.

madeinroath kiosk

Speaking from my own experience, I went to art school and graduated with a degree and then discovered I didn’t actually know anything (yep I did a John Snow “I know nothing”). I mean I knew how to make art but not how the art world worked. I didn’t know how to approach a gallery or even where to start with showing work. Short of stapling examples of my work to the walls of galleries in the hope that someone would look at it I was a bit stumped. I looked around at my friends who were also searching their heads. Away from the supportive art school environment, we were all a bit lost.

It was then that I started to volunteer. I began to help out in a gallery, where I discovered like-minded people who were also going through or had gone through a similar experience. More importantly, I started to find out how things worked; how to put up shows, how to market and about the art world in general, not to mention all the tea I could drink mwahaha. Anyway, it wasn’t just about the tea. Fast forward a few years and I would never be in the place I am today if I hadn’t given up a few hours of my time to volunteer. If I’d never begun volunteering with Made in Roath I certainly wouldn’t be here typing this now.


Everyone at Made in Roath is a volunteer in one way or other. None of this would happen without volunteers. Most of our coordinators started off as volunteers before falling deeper down the rabbit hole that is Made in Roath. It’s a fantastic and enjoyable experience and one which you can read all about on our awesome volunteer page. You can be a team leader, exhibition or event assistants, help out with media and documentation or assist with a workshop (which is ideal if you like making things and getting messy). 

 Volunteering is not a one-way street. In return for your precious time, we offer a wide range of thank you’s such as one-to-one portfolio workshops, references for your CV, lunch and an after festival volunteer pub quiz.

The person in charge of all this is our volunteer coordinator, the wonderful Georgina Allen who has also planned an evening of skittle fun in the Albany pub tomorrow as a welcome to anyone thinking of volunteering with us. If you can, do join us for an amusing evening of skittle related fun.

If you can't come along but are interested or you have any questions then please do email Georgina at

Thanks for reading, best wishes and may your teas be always free.

How does Made in Roath work?

It’s a good question and one I’m not too sure I can answer. I’m not sure anyone can answer it actually. I’m not sure anyone knows how Made in Roath works, it just does.

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of leadership books (for reasons which really don’t need going into right now) and in doing so I’ve come to realise that Made in Roath shouldn’t actually work.

According to most business models Made in Roath shouldn't happen, yet it does. It’s happening in 13 days, for the 9th time since it first happened in 2009. So why is this? Why is it that Made in Roath, like nearly every other art and cultural organisation in the country, is still going when according to the traditional business models it shouldn’t? The obvious answer is Made in Roath and all these other arts organisations are not businesses and are therefore not operating under the same requirements and outcomes.

But there is something more than that at work here. There is a reason why people spend all day in work and then come along to give four or five hours of tireless volunteering at an evening event. Why coordinators spend hour upon hour of their free time dealing with stressful and vexing situations determined to make an event happen. It is the same reason why people stay up until the wee small hours of the morning writing, painting or creating something that only a handful of people will see, even though they have to be in work in a few hours.


This reason is very simple to explain. It is also the same reason why you have heard of the Wright Brothers but have never heard of Samuel Pierpont Langley.

The turn of the century race for powered flight was the .com boom of its day. It seemed that everyone was chasing the dream of flight, as well as the fame and wealth that went along with it. The smart money was on Samuel Pierpont Langley. He was the US government sponsored inventor. A professor of engineering and a well respected scientist. He was also given a very generous payment from the US government to develop his ideas. He used this to design, experiment and hire all the best people to help him. The New York times even sent a reporter to follow Langley around so confident were they that he would be the first.

Yet it was the Wright brothers, neither of whom had a college degree, who self funded their experiments and were based in a windswept, out of the way sandy island called Kittyhawk that didn’t even have a pub let alone any scientific/educational establishments that were the first to fly. On the 17th of December 1903 they flew for 59 seconds, covering a distance of 852 feet.

So what gave the Wright brothers their advantage? Put simply it was belief.

Samuel Pierpont Langley was in it for the fame, for the wealth. That as soon as Langley learnt he had been beaten he gave up on his efforts is proof of this. He didn’t use his funds, resources and knowledge to work with the Wright brothers, he just quit. The Wright brothers on the other hand were in it for the betterment of the world. They believed that what they were doing was important. They believed. And thats what drove them to do it.

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It’s this belief that powers us to try, to make, to fly. No one is an artist or a maker for the money. You do it because you believe it in. Made in Roath and all these other cultural bodies work because of belief. Because we believe in what we are doing. Culture happens because people believe in creating it, they believe its important to show it, to spend their nights going to see it. They believe its important to think, to read, to consider. Culture happens because of belief. We give time, and often our sleep or social lives, to Made in Roath because we believe it’s important that it happens.

This is why we are thrilled to see it happen again, for the ninth time, from October the 15th to the 22nd. There is also a special preview event at the Gate on the 14th with the fantastic Wonderbrass. You can pick up a brochure of whats going on in multiple places around Roath or simply check out the online version.

Thanks for reading.