A unique series of four mosaics, all based on a railway theme, has been completed and is now on display at Cardiff Central station.
The impressive mosaics are located in four panels on the external wall of the former Red Dragon Bar facing the Millennium Stadium and bus station, and were designed as part of the artwork commissioning work of Network Rail’s station regeneration programme for Cardiff Central station.
The mosaics are the work of Kent based mosaics specialist, Rob Turner, who was commissioned after winning a competition organised in conjunction with Cardiff County Council and Cywaith Cymru/Artworks Wales as part of the £12.7m station regeneration programme.
The panels are executed in a combination of black, green and white glasstessera, with slate used to give a raised three-dimensional aspect to thepanels. The colours are understated but fit well with the 30's classicalstyle of the station.
Cardiff Mosaics - 2
The theme of the smaller central panels is based on a circular geometricpattern which reflects the image of a smoke box door on a locomotive, whilst the larger panels reflect the circular theme using the same slate pattern but include the words Cardiff Central and Caerdydd Canolog. Figures are incorporated into the larger panels, reflecting workers and passengers using the station from the past and the present day.
The ‘reverse technique’ was used for this two-year project where the mosaics were constructed in a workshop in Kent, dismantled into section to transport to Cardiff and then installed on site.
Malcolm Wood, Network Rail’s regional architect said: “These mosaics depict the long tradition and history associated with the railways in Cardiff and complement the regeneration work already completed at the station. For those using the station they greatly enhance the view of the station when approaching from the western entrance road.”
Work will also start shortly on the installation of a second artwork project where a 'pigeon clock', designed by Martin Smith, will be installed in the new concourse. Martin Smith based his idea on characters that inhabit stations. Ten pigeons sitting in a row above a great clock will rise, flapping their wings, as a small toy train runs by, resulting in a pigeon wave machine.
The station is a Grade 2 listed building and these artwork projects were commissioned as part of conditions to the Listed Buildings consent for major renewal works to the platforms, canopies, station facilities and concourse areas.