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Street art celebrating diversity washed off by mistake, artists 'absolutely gutted'

The stunning street art was created by three woman artists who were working-class or from minority groups.

Street art celebrating diversity washed off by mistake, artists 'absolutely gutted'
Image source: Instagram/pwshcdf

A simple miscommunication led to vibrant artwork adorning Cardiff city center being washed away. The murals were commissioned by For Cardiff, a body tasked with making the city "vibrant and welcoming." Celebrating diversity, these were painted on 11 concrete pillars in the city center and featured portraits of underrepresented women. They were done by three young woman artists who were heartbroken to learn their work had been washed away. For Cardiff acknowledged that it was a communication error that led to the mishap and apologized for the same, stating that it was "due to a devastating error involving our cleansing contractor," reported The BBC.



The artists involved in the project by PWSH collective created the murals to “enable Cardiff-born and based emerging and established visual artists to decorate their city center with artwork that celebrates and represents a breadth of local talent.” Beth Blandford, Amber Forde, and Temeka Davies were the artists behind the murals. "I'm absolutely gutted, I can't believe it, it took me about five days and most of those days were 12-16 hour days," said Blandford. "We really planned this project out, we were so excited, it's a real shame." For Cardiff released a statement addressing the artists, "We offer our sincere and heartfelt apology to the talented artists, Beth Blandford, Amber Forde, and Temeka Davies who took the opportunity to brighten up Cardiff." It added, "We're working with the creative director of the project as to how we can best rectify this situation as quickly as possible."



Blandford also spoke of the importance of public art forms created by women and diverse communities. "These are voices that need to be heard, and it was just washed off due to a mistake, it feels a bit overwhelming really," said Blandford. Amber Forde echoed her fellow artist's words. "I think it's really important because it gives the visibility and shows how diverse Cardiff is. Especially as a lot of the artists involved were working-class or from minority groups," said Forde. She went on to add that the artwork also represented her culture. "I had three murals, each one tied back to my culture, I'm half Bajan half Welsh, so I tied that into my color scheme. I was really devastated, throughout the project, I would finish work and go straight to work on the project. I was pretty distraught for me and the girls."



"Gutted," wrote the PWSH Instagram page addressing the mishap."This is a dark post for us to be publishing. We are absolutely devastated that our artwork at the back of the old Debenhams was removed yesterday morning (Thursday 14 October). We are not sure why or how this has happened. That area is now a complete soul-less mess again (with our artwork literally washed off and now all over the floor) - and we are heartbroken," read the post.



PWSH said they were equally saddened for the artists who poured their heart and soul into the project. "We are gutted for the people of Cardiff who have shown so much love for this project. We are gutted for our city which has so much potential to fill itself to the brim with all of the creativity its inhabitants have to offer. People have shared with us that they would have liked to have seen ALL of the columns transformed with our artwork in this otherwise very unloved corner of our city-center — people did not want the artists’ beautiful artwork removed from them."



PWSH confirmed that they planned to commission more artwork and intend to start with finding funding for Beth, Amber, and Temeka to create new and permanent artwork, in a new home/s. "For Cardiff funded this, and are very supportive and are as gutted as we are, but something fundamentally horrific has happened in some sort of communication," said Rachel Kinchin, the creative producer for PWSH. 

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