The Old Laundry

Behind door 3 of the Made in Roath advent we have the Old Laundry.

Made in Roath has a proud and exciting history of taking over spaces kindly donated to us for the festival. Last year we used the grand building of the Parade and until recently were installed in Welcome House. This year we were delighted to have the Old Laundry on Braveal street for an exhibition space for use during the October festival.

The Old Laundry was a unique space. A hidden gem that having walked the earth of Roath for many years, I must confess I had no knowledge existed.

 The entrance I discovered with sound. It was a windy day in Braveal street and a rustling sound was heard which increased in volume as I ventured past the terrace houses of the road. Then suddenly between two homes a small alleyway appeared. A red brick opening leading down an uneven, cracked path of stone. Across this opening a line of shiny tinsel paper was hung, gently blowing and whispering in the breeze. Passing through this paper door the alleyway opened up to a workman style yard with a square building of industrial purpose along the right hand side. To the left were a collection of old stables which indicated the age of this Victorian build.

Here was a place that had seen history, horse drawn carts and carriages walked these stones when first it was built. Then motorcars and petrol transport rumbled in and out, people worked, lived and spent their lives here. Jokes, friendships and memories were forged. This was a place that had seen life and now for the week of Made in Roath 2017 it was to see art.

The temporary exhibition space was divided into two parts. On the ground floor in the wide open garage like space. A group show of a collection of artists who responded and created work around Roath Park with a mixture of sensory, sound, visual and hanging work. Each artist had produced a thoughtful and fascinating piece that sat comfortably in this former white walled workshop.

Upstairs in the former office space the decor was different, down stairs it had been industrial and practical. Here it was modern, a more business like place with walls and carpet of the style which could be anywhere between the 70s and late 00s in plain, calm, practical agency fashion. Individual artists had space here, each room was dedicated to their practise. Each unit off the L-shaped corridor found a different exhibition. Fascinating and individual to each persons expression of practise. Your mind jumped from one thought to the next as you moved along the compartments. The archive work of one, the visual projection of another, the incurable curious sound work of the next. The building hummed with delight as you wondered through this former Laundry complex.

Then when all the work had been seen you left, back down the narrow red brick alleyway and back out into the streets of Roath where cars passed and life went on with no hint of the art work which lay behind Braveal street. Apart from the slight rustling noise, which slowly faded as you walked away re-entering the world.

Artists displaying in the Old Laundry space included Sharon Magill, Helen C.A. Rowlands, Nick Davies, Gemma Bartlett, Maria D. Rus, Jessica Greenway, Ceri Morris, Anna Brazier, Christine Magill, Olivia Day, Claire Davies, Thomas Bartlett, Alexandra Andreica, Kyle Povey, Jill Kirkpatrick, Lindsey Hadley, Jill Adams, Ian Watson, Beth Morris, Lynette Margerison, Zena Blackwell, Tanya Dower, Reid Allen, Laura Welsman.