Tag Archives: The Palace Theatre Swansea

Window Dressing

21 Sep

double window

Finished the third day of drawing in public at the Creative Bubble shop. It was stimulating to have the space to work on a very large piece with other artists close by. I’m developing some large-scale drawings, overlaying different types of drawing media. This is brown wrapping paper underneath with tracing parchment on top. The bottom layer is drawn with compressed charcoal and chalk but I switched to oilbars and Indian ink, applied with a large reed pen, on the translucent tracing parchment. The building in the background is the old Palace Theatre in Swansea, currently the focus of a campaign to save it from falling to bits.

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We’ve finished the event now, although we’re hoping to do this monthly, but we’ve left the work on site, putting a pop-up exhibition in the shop windows for the rest of the weekend. I’d like to do this in all the empty shop windows in the city centre.

My Dogs Are Barking!

20 Sep

19 palace 1

I’m working with artgroup 15 Hundred Lives, at the Creative Bubble Shop in Swansea for 3 days. We’re doing our second ‘What Do Artists Do All Day‘ event. I’m doing another big drawing installation. The aim of these events is for the public to be able to see how artists work; how we create an artwork from the start. Most people only ever see a work of art in a gallery or hanging on someone’s wall, all completed and framed. Often they’ll have no idea how it’s made, so we’re working in the shop / gallery for three days so people can come in and see how it’s done.

At this stage I’m drawing onto brown wrapping paper; several sheets stuck together with paper gumstrip and stapled to the wall. I’m using compressed charcoal and chalk. The image is an interpretation of a local landmark, The Palace Theatre. It’s really tiring because I’m on my feet all day. My Nana used to say ‘Ooh! My dogs are barking!’ when her feet were tired and aching. I don’t know why. More to come tomorrow.

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.

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