Tag Archives: The Albert Hall Swansea

The Tree Palace

29 Sep

I took a stroll up High Street yesterday, making the most of the late afternoon sunshine after the torrential rain of the past few days. I stopped and sketched the top of the old Palace Theatre which is now derelict and covered in large buddleia bushes. It looks like it’s smothered in trees.

Dating from 1888, it was a traditional music hall, Charlie Chaplin appeared there, and also a theatre and cinema before becoming a nightclub in the 1970’s and a gay bar in the 1980’s. It’s shame that it’s fallen into such an awful state of repair. It’s a Grade 2 listed building but that doesn’t seem to count for much. Dad-in-law can remember standing on it’s roof during World War 2 watching while the city centre was being decimated by enemy bombers. It’s a distinctive wedge-shape, a bit like the Gridiron building in New York, but shorter. It’s one of several old, distinguished buildings in Swansea that have been allowed to become derelict and, in the middle of a recession, there doesn’t seem to be much hope of them being saved. What a shame, it survived the Second World War but is likely to be destroyed by 21st century economics.

Good news though about the Albert Hall, another old building that I sketched and blogged about a few months ago. It looks as if the Metropolitan University, formerly the Art College, might be taking it over and turning it into a performance arts centre. Brilliant. Fingers crossed for The Palace.

Albert Hall, Egon Schiele And A Birthday Boy.

27 Mar

Ink sketch: The Albert Hall.

Another unusually hot and sunny day in Swansea so I took advantage of the second floor fire escape again and drew another aspect of the rooftops, focussing on the top of The Albert Hall in Cradock Street which is next door to the other Elysium studios and gallery. It opened in the 1860’s as a music hall and later became a cinema and then a bingo hall, but it’s been empty for the past five years and is deteriorating and there’s a local campaign to save it. Quite a few of Swansea’s historic buildings are in a poor state of repair and it seems that there’s little that anyone can do about it. It’s a pity that they managed to survive the Blitz but are likely to be destroyed by indifference.

I’ve had a bit of a creative block so I did some charcoal and pastel studies from a couple of Egon Schiele’s watercolours to loosen me up and get the creative juices flowing. It worked and I feel energised and motivated again. I adore Egon Schiele. Can’t wait to get back to the studio tomorrow. Husb and I went straight from the studio to visit our little great nephew who is eight today. It was lovely sitting with four generations of family, aged between 4 and 80. We’re very priviledged to live in a time and place where people have health and longevity so that little ones can grow up alongside their great-great aunts and uncles.

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