14-year-old Farah Thomas is another artist commissioned to display their work at the Summer of Smiles, outside Cardiff’s City Hall.
Her work is all about championing diversity in Cardiff and visualising our differences while recognising that we are all the same, in some way or another.
Farah tells us she has always been interested in art and that TheSprout’s commission has given her the freedom to express herself.
“Art is a fantastic way to express yourself and use your imagination and creativity. When you think of other subjects, they are not as easy to apply your imagination. Take maths, for instance, there is a set method to getting it right every time. Whereas art can be anything you want it to be”.
The inspiration behind your art
Farah especially wanted to represent all the different cultures in Cardiff. She told us that her art embodies the sentiment that we should embrace our differences.
“I wanted to reflect the diversity in Cardiff, because I feel that our different rituals and traditions are not talked about enough. To show there is a range of people in Cardiff, I wanted to reflect the different experiences of young people in the city and offer them some representation too.”
What kind of relationship do you have with Cardiff?
This capital city means so many things to everyone, whether they live here or not. Each of the artists who have been commissioned for Summer of Smiles have offered us different interpretations of where they live.
Although, they all have something in common, which is the fact that their beginnings will always be in Cardiff. As Farah tells us, it is important to remember and recognise our roots.
“Cardiff holds a lot of memories for me. I have spent my whole childhood living in Cardiff and growing up to be the young woman I am today, so it will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Everything that surrounds us in Cardiff, from the castle to the Principality Stadium and even Chippy Lane sub-consciously shapes our outlook on life.
“Everything here makes up who I am, in a sense.”
How do you create such a masterpiece?
Art is an obscure concept to all of us, because it means something different to each individual. Sometimes it comes naturally, while other artists tend to take a more calculated approach to their work.
Farah took a blended approach to bringing her ideas to life, but first she had to think about how the piece would come together in her head.
“That was my immediate thought! I didn’t really brainstorm ideas about what my art was going to look like, what form it was going to take or even what it was going to be about.”
“When I eventually decided I would try to merge four people into one portrait, the idea of creating a sense of unity, illustrated by our differences, came to me.”
Thinking about what she wanted to represent in her art takes more than a gut instinct, and Farah’s piece is very clever in mirroring what Cardiff means to her.
But she tells us she wanted to do more than that, and offer the ordinary folk of Cardiff something to relate to at this festival, created with the young people of Cardiff in mind.
“To create the image itself, I had to find different graphics to pull together into one, because I find drawing from my head quite difficult. I didn’t use famous people or anyone recognisable from Cardiff, I wanted to reflect the lives of normal people in the city from different walks of life.”