madeinroath Blog

Are You Ready For A Challenge?

Guest Blogger - Rachel Carney

If you like art, writing and ideas then the Ekphrastic Challenge Poetry Competition is for you! ‘Ekphrastic poetry’ is poetry which has been written in response to a piece of visual art. It can be descriptive, interpretive or provocative. It can create alternative perspectives and play with the readers' expectations. It can question the artist’s intentions, the point of art itself, or its own existence, creating a conversation between artist, writer, reader and viewer.

To take part, all you have to do is get out and about during the Made in Roath festival, and have a look at the artwork on display. Find something interesting… one of the paintings featured in the Open exhibition perhaps, or something a bit more quirky in one of the open house displays… and take a photo of it. So long as it’s visual, displayed as part of Made in Roath and created by an artist, it will count.

Then you will have just a few days to write a poem in response. Send your poem (along with a photo of whichever artwork you wrote about) to me (Rachel Carney) via email by 5pm on Friday 20th October. Please include your name, email and phone number, plus information about the artwork (artist’s name, title of piece, where you saw it).

From Paint to Page Ekphrastic Writing Group

The poems will be judged by local writers Mab Jones and Rhys Milsom, and they’ll announce the winner on Sunday 22nd – the last day of the festival. The winning poem will be published right here, on the Made in Roath blog, and displayed for a short time at the ‘Three Doors Up’ art space in Queen’s Arcade (part of Arcade Cardiff). The winner will also receive a £15 book token and a fascinating book on world art, purchased from Cardiff’s very own Aladdin’s Cave (aka Troutmark Books).

You could also come along to The Gate on Tuesday 17th October, where I’ll be running my usual ekphrastic writing group ‘From Paint to Page’ (7.45-9.30pm). It’s a monthly group, and this one will be themed around the Made in Roath Open Exhibition. To find out more about the group, and see some examples of ekphrastic writing, visit my blog.

Made in Roath Open

Well its 21 days until Made in Roath (which means I really must do an awful lot more typing and posting). 

 21 days until your favourite Roath based arts festival returns on October the 15th. 

We have lots to expect from this years festival, poetry, performance, art, film, happens, open houses and nearly everything else you can think of. Even with 21 days left to go its still not too late to get involved.

The Made in Roath Open is still accepting entries for this years exhibition. The Open this year will be held in the Gate Art Centre in the very heart of Roath. This popular Roath venue has already got it self a fine cultural standing and we are delighted to be holding the Open there.

But what is the Made in Roath Open you may ask? Well the Open is a popular and memorable part of each years festival. The Open is for anyone who wishes to submit and show a single piece of art work. There is no admission fee for showing or restrictions according to age, ability or experience. The Open is as the name suggestions, OPEN TO EVERYONE.

If your interested in taking part in this years Made in Roath Open then just submit an expression of interest to to find out all the information.

Deadline for the Open closes on October the 2nd and the very best of luck if you enter.

Made in Roath pub quiz in the Gate

According to the internet the pub quiz all began in the 1970s by a company called Burns and Porter. They created a weekly quiz night in their pub loosely inspired by the popular Trivial Pursuits general knowledge game. It was a cunning and frankly brilliant plan to get people into the pub on quiet nights.

 Since its humble beginnings the pub quiz has grown to be one of the most popular pub past times (the most popular one being “drinking” surprisingly. Not sure where karaoke falls upon this popularity scale but probably not as high [unless its soprano karaoke night of course hehe]).

Last night Made in Roath with the kind help of the Gate art centre in Roath joined in on this fine 1970s tradition (possibly the best tradition from the 1970s). The night was a great success with the Gate Pulpit bar being packed to extra seating added level. We held the quiz to raise money to help Made in Roath pay a very unfair and uncool bill that has been forced upon us.

The night saw 10 teams taking part in the ultimate Roath test of wit and general knowledge. Each team took part in the traditional six rounds (first being the very difficult picture round) with the other five rounds being themed around “Art knowledge”, “Music”, “Local/Roath knowledge”, “Current Affairs” and a fifth round that I currently can’t recall because I was outside at the time but it was something to do with questions about things, possibly.

Anyway there was a gripping finale with two teams tied in the lead. To settle matters we went to the tie break question, “how long is the River Severn?” (The answer is 220 miles.)

Stu, a regular quiz goer, with team mates Sam and Beech won the tie with the closest guess of 200 miles and claimed victory for the night.

But the real winner of the night was the fun we all had along the way. Questions were asked, some were answered and a few were guessed but I can’t help feeling we all became a little richer from the nights experiences.

Thanks for reading, see you at the next quiz.   21752342_1308138235981180_5513902107978059528_n

Welcome House a welcome mess

“Its easier to have new ideas in old buildings”  I can’t recall who said that but it sounds about right. We moved the last of our stuff out of Welcome House yesterday. The former Youth hostel that Made in Roath have been using as a free artist studio and general creative hub for the past year. Its played an important role in our calendar for the last year with it being used to hold exhibitions and studio openings, CREATE workshops and even a group of very talented architecture students who were designing seating. IMG_4030 It has been fantastic to have our own space and a roof over our heads, it comes as a surprise to most people to learn Made in Roath doesn’t have an office or any permanent building. The whole organisation is run from kitchens, using mobile phones with hasty meetings fitted into busy lives.   Welcome house has provided a welcome place to base ourselves. We hope too that it has also provided a welcome studio for many artists. The old youth hostel layout made it ideal for temporary studios which we were pleased to make available for artists to use free of charge. It also provided a base for workshops, the CREATE team installed their own mess making place and were able to run everything from postcard to life size puppet workshops.   I think my lasting memory of Welcome House will be the mess, the place was a mess when we went in, housing a collective group of creative people, not to mention a few break in’s by villainous riff-raff (to put it politely). The place was never going to be clean but it was never meant to be clean. Creativity isn't clean, its messy. From mess and madness work comes out. Wondering from room to room it was evident that this mess was part of that creativity. It was wonderful to witness the places creative mess.   Welcome House will be taken down soon to make way for new housing but we thank the landlord for allowing us to create mess and to house our creativity in Welcome House.   IMG_4036   p.s as we were clearing our Welcome House we came across this thing. For the life of us we have no idea what it is or what it could be used for. One lasting mystery of Welcome House.   IMG_4283  

42 days

There are seven days in a week and six weeks until October the 15th, which means there is just 42 days left until Made in Roath 2017 begins. This year’s festival is taking place between the 15th and the 22nd of October and will be the 9th year that your favourite community art and culture Roath based festival has spread out into the homes and streets of Roath (and occasionally, technically Cathay’s but “shhh”). The world has changed a lot in the last nine years, the festival along with it. We have grown from exhibitions in peoples homes over a few days to a week long festival of art, music, poetry, stage, film, pottery, photography, installations, happenings and things I don’t even know how to describe. This years festival will be no different, you will see this for yourselves in just 42 days. One thing to definitely look out for is this years street fete taking place on October 21st with the theme of “longer tables”. This will once again be the centre point of art, amusement and creativity. We’ll be posting more information about the festival in the coming days but your blogger chose this 42 day marker to begin the countdown to Made in Roath 2017. But why 42 you may ask, is it for some sort of cleaver and soon to be revealed reason which has some sort of very witty purpose in this years festival. (42 gazebos possible?) Nope, I’m afraid not. Is 42 a hidden easter egg like clue to some Roath wide art event? Nah. Or is it 42 because your blogger is a massive geek who processes a singular determination to work in references to Hitch Hikers Guide, Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter at any possible opportunity… It doesn’t take a fool of a took to work out which. 21317670_1301305103331160_4111966427166767431_n

Red Route 2017

This will be the 4th time we have strolled to and fro over the earth from Merthyr to Roath on the journey to Made in Spring.
 It all started in 2014 under the name the “Red Shoes”. We then returned in 2015 and 16 under the banner of the Red Route. The red theme stems from the fact that Merthyr was the first place in world that saw a red banner being raised as a sign of protest during the 1831 Merthyr Rising. That event saw some 7,000 to 10,000 people marching under that red flag which later was adopted as the internationally symbol of struggle, injustice and socialism. It has been my privilege to have walked all three previous Red Routes and this shall be my fourth. It’s a 27 mile ritual, over two days that begins in the Red House in Merthyr and ends on Plasnewydd Road for Made in Spring and the start of the Spring arts season the next day. It works out at about 17 miles the first day and around 10 the next. The thing that frequently surprises me about the Red Route is the look of daunting disbelief that comes across peoples faces when they hear the mileage and the route. But the truth is it really isn't that bad.
 I mean it’s not like we are doing S.A.S. selection or anything, it’s just a pleasant stroll through some beautiful Valley countryside, past some incredibly interesting remains of the industrial revolution with frequent cultural stopping off points along the way for performances, art work and readings to watch and ponder over as you walk at your own pace along the Taff Trail. Plus you’re surrounded by some lovely people, get to enjoy a somewhat excess amount of tea and cake stops and thats not mentioning the Made in Roath guide team who know the Taff Trail so well they can (and in my case have often) walked the trail in the pitch dark, at 2 a.m., somewhat tipsy from the pub without falling over a single tree. (Horses are another matter mind.)
The most challenging thing about the Red Route is the same with any distance walk. It’s getting the mindset right. The walk isn't hard at all, it’s on a good path and to be honest the whole trail is parallel to a train line so you’re never more than a few miles from a train station.
Its all about the mindset, if you approach the walk with doubt or uncertainly then you’ll probably have a bad time but if you approach it with a sense of adventure, a positive attitude and a cheerful idea of fortitude then you’ll love it. Even if the weather turns wet. Some of the best walks I’ve done have been where it’s been hammering down with rain but because of the people around me and the mindset that “yeah this is pretty rubbish but hey I’m in it so may as well enjoy it and at least it’ll be an amusing story to tell”.
In some strange way it’s an encounter into the Sublime. (That strange artistic/philosophic idea by Edward Burke of experiencing awe in the strongest physical elements of nature.) Approach the Red Route with a positive mindset and you’ll have a great time. Oh and of course wear comfortable footwear, either boots or trainers and maybe bring a bottle of water.
Do join us for Red Route 2017. These days we rarely get the chance to walk. Time is often against us in our busy world, finding the time to walk and just think is sadly a rarity. One of the beauties of the Red Route is that it allows you this time to slow travel and ponder. To walk and not run. To journey rather than travel. Even if you can only join us for one of the two days you’ll still enjoy it. Thanks for reading, hope you’re having a good day. P.S. One great tip is to wear two pairs of socks, a thin pair and a thick pair. This stops your foot rubbing your shoe and cuts down on blisters.

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.