Seven pieces of hanging art have been unveiled in Cardiff arcades to celebrate this year’s ‘City of Arcades’ campaign – The Art and Soul of Cardiff.

A 21-foot-long angel suspended from the ceiling, sculptures balancing on tightropes and huge murals of Cardiff castle’s famous animal wall are just a few of the pieces on display.

In collaboration with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, FOR Cardiff has commissioned seven alumni to create pieces of suspended art.

Education, history, green spaces, music, arts and theatre, food and drink, and sport are the key themes with each piece of art making up a wider themed collection.

The inaugural City of Arcades Day in 2019, where more than 80 businesses put on special offers or hosted events across the seven arcades, saw 63 per cent of businesses report an increase in sales.

Footfall was down by 23 per cent across the UK in the week leading to the July 31, 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, and businesses across Wales continue to fight back following 17 months of disruption.

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Adrian Field, executive director at FOR Cardiff, said: “Cardiff’s arcades are one of the capital’s strongest assets, and City of Arcades is about putting Welsh culture and Wales’ capital city on the map.

“Hanging these vivid pieces of art across the arcades is about making art and culture more accessible, while making Cardiff’s city centre a more attractive place for locals and tourists alike.”

Cardiff’s Victorian and Edwardian arcades are steeped in history, housing over 150 years of Welsh retail.

Rory Fleming, centre manager of the Morgan Quarter, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome the return of City of Arcades campaign this year.

“The Morgan and Royal arcades are filled with some of the city’s most unique businesses, and this incredible exhibition will help drive footfall through the arcades, and into stores.”

The artwork is on display from today and people are being encouraged to visit the arcades and enjoy the art up close.

The exhibition is also being used as an opportunity for Welsh creatives to gain exposure after a pandemic that has hit the sector hard.

Sean Crowley, director of drama at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, said: “After a difficult 18-months for those in the creative industry, we’re delighted to play our part in this year’s campaign, and help give creatives the boost and exposure they need and showcase the extraordinary talents of our Design for Performance graduates.”

The seven commissioned pieces will be unveiled across the City of Arcade’s social media platforms.

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