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public sculpture commission by kathy dalwood 
at St David's 2, Cardiff

Four Friezes

Three of the four designs were inspired by relief sculptures on Cardiff City Hall and the Law Courts; I chose various motifs and made modern-day versions, casting from real-life objects. In the 4th frieze, the gloves and rope make reference to Cardiff's medieval history; the ancient guilds of the Cordwainers and Glovers were once established on the site of St David's 2.
Scroll down to see the original Cardiff City Hall sculptures and images of the making of the friezes.

for larger images  & artist's statement click  
the commission
the site
A large shopping mall within  the St David’s 2 development
The St David's 2 Partnership commissioned a number of artworks.
about St David's 2

St David's 2 is an exciting new development coming to the Capital City of Wales. The development once open in 2009 will enhance the existing shopping and city living in Cardiff.

As one of the most important city developments in the UK today and currently the largest private financial investment in Wales, the scheme builds on present assets including the existing St David's Shopping Centre and much of the Hayes. The scheme is set to transform the Southern end of the City and give a currently underused area a new lease of life by creating attractive and safe public spaces for people to enjoy, alongside a unique and exciting contemporary retail space which caters to the needs of the 21st century shopper.

link to St Davids 2 website

the brief

To create four 9m x 800mm plaster friezes to be installed around an overhead circular bulkhead, lit from a glass dome above.

The design should make reference to the history and heritage of Cardiff and to the medieval site on which St David's 2 is constructed.

artist's proposal

To create a collage of imagery within each 9m long frieze re-telling the story of Cardiff. Most of the motifs echo ones to be found in the early 20th century sculptures on the facades of Cardiff City Hall & Law Cpurts.

In 1900 sculptors were commissioned to create a series of reliefs to symbolise the city’s history and status as an industrial port with global reach.

In contrast to these sculpted panels, in my latter day versions the imagery is indented and cast from real life objects.

One of the 4 friezes uses motifs which allude to the medieval guilds which were once established on the site.

The friezes are cast in Jesmonite - an off-white plaster











installation date
April 2009


                          The reliefs at Cardiff City Hall and the Law Courts which inspired the Friezes


                             The St David's 2 Friezes

         Studio shots:   work in progress
Showing first stage plaster casts and silicone moulds for final cast friezes. The motifs were created by taking impressions of real-life objects which were then enlarged through a mouldmaking process made possible by new polymer technology which allows an exact to-scale expansion of the original object.
    At fabricators:  casts made from silicone positives   (final cast material: jesmonite)

Below, ideas for the friezes at the early stages; these casts were made to show the concept to the St Davids Partnership team who commissioned the sculpture

details showing indentation of motifs

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