Roar deal for dragon mural
A MUCH-LOVED piece of street art in Cardiff will disappear forever when the building it’s painted on to is torn down.
Anyone who’s hopped off the train on match day and headed down Scott Road in recent years will recognise the red dragon mural, which was painted onto the side of St David’s House in 2015.
The fire-breathing beast is accompanied by the words “Croeso i’r Ffwrnais”, which is Welsh for “Welcome to the Furnace” – a friendly warning to rival sporting fans coming to the national stadium of Wales.
But now Rightacres, the developers of Central Square, have confirmed the artwork won’t be saved when the building is demolished.
Chief executive Paul McCarthy said: “The graffiti art will be demolished with the building in February this year.
“The artist was aware that the mural was ‘temporary’ as was the illustration on Marland House demolished last year.
“Rightacres has full planning approval from Cardiff council for the demolition of St David’s House.”
The artwork was created as a temporary piece after the artist’s original mural on the same spot was painted over.
At the time, artist Bryce Davies said he hoped it would send a striking message to England fans who would pass it on their way to what was then called the Millennium Stadium during the Six Nations. Bryce, who’s been a graffiti artist for 20 years, said that the piece in question wasn’t commissioned but was “his gift to the city”.
The 35-year-old, who also goes by Peaceful Progress, said: “The temporary nature of walls is something I’m used to.
“Graffiti by its nature – unless it’s commissioned pieces – can quite often be temporary.”
He added: “It’s been up there for a few years now, that piece, and it’s been great that it’s been part of the community.
“I’m pleased that it’s had the life it’s had and that it’s been respected by other artists and the public have had such a good response to it – I always see people taking photos in front of it.
“At the end of the day, you can’t stop progress.”
The demolition of the building is part of the plans for the continued Central Square development.
St David’s House, which has been home to offices and shops in Wood Street opposite where the bus station used to sit, has seen the likes of Tesco, Boots and Greggs move out.
They’ve all relocated around the corner in the Central Square developments as the St David’s House demolition edges closer.
Bryce added that he’d be up for replicating something similar in Cardiff if it was commissioned or if there was a high-profile public wall available.
“It’s not something I’m devastated about,” Bryce said, adding: “Hopefully, if people enjoy seeing public art of that nature in Cardiff, perhaps people like the council or developers should keep that in mind for opportunities in the future.”
The Dragon mural by Bryce Davies, below left