Artist Exclusive: Cardiff As You Have Never Seen It Before  

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As it is exhibition week at Summer of Smiles, it is our mission to showcase the incredible work of all the young artists at the festival. Here’s our exclusive with Rosie Pearn, who is not just drawing or painting, but building a piece that reflects her relationship with Cardiff. 

“It is inspired by Cardiff Castle and the castle itself forms the background of my art. It incorporates the past, regarding the clothing of the characters, but also the present with townhouses. So, marrying history with the modern day is the main inspiration behind it.” 

As a young person, Rosie is firmly a part of what our futures will entail. She tells us that her work reflects what Cardiff means to her. 

“I enjoy the history behind the city, especially Cardiff Castle. I have found all the different eras and the contrasts between them very interesting.” 

What is the piece? 

Rosie’s artwork is taking centre stage as a pop-up piece, designed to bring her own vision of Cardiff to life in model form. 

“The piece comes together as if you are looking down on the castle and on the side are town houses and restaurants that represent a modern, vibrant city. I’ve got little characters that assume the form of ducks, rats and fish which are just going about their day, doing their thing.” 

“In that respect, it offers a real insight into the lives of normal people in Cardiff.” 

“They are also wearing Victorian clothes but doing modern things. For instance, there are some wandering about with Primark bags and Deliveroo riders on penny farthings. Call it a mashing together of the different eras that Cardiff has seen.” 

The building process 

Rosie’s exhibition work is fascinating, because it is as much a building process as it is an artistic masterpiece. Knowing where to start is a difficult task in itself! 

“I started with drawing the castle, because that was the main aspect of it. It is an iconic building in Cardiff, so I wanted to get that right. That was a big task, and I have added the animals on the wall of the castle as well, which took a lot of practise. 

“Drawing characters comes quite easily to me, so I knew that I could do them off the hoof. I could do them anywhere, and they only took me about five minutes.” 

Having only applied to have her commission on display when she first heard about the opportunity, it was a race against time to get the art complete. So, it is a real treat to be able to see it in the flesh at Summer of Smiles!

“It was quite stressful completing the entire application in one night, although hearing I had got the job straight after was quite fun.” 

“It was my Mum who found it. She is always looking for things for me to do online; she finds everything on Twitter so she probably saw it on there.” 

So, Rosie has been working non-stop for the last three weeks to ensure there was something to go on display at the festival. 

What draws you to art? 

Excuse the pun, it is average at best and I only realised how awful it sounded after the question had already been asked. However, we will still go along with it as we focus on the woman of the hour and her love for art. 

“I love the playful side of art, I’m not a big fan of realism and simply replicating life into art. I am not really that sort of person. I do take inspiration from real life, but I love creating things that are completely new and abstract, which make our daily lives seem more interesting.” 

How can I see Rosie’s work?

You can see Rosie’s work on display at the main festival site all week on City Hall Lawn, Cardiff, alongside all the other young artists’ displays. Tickets to the festival cost £2, and you can book them online through the Summer of Smiles website or the app, which is downloadable via the App Store and Google Play. 

For now, Rosie is focussing on her art and using her talent to influence the budding artists at TheSprout’s stall at the festival site, who have been visiting us in their thousands and adding to our own gallery over the last two weeks. Her work has inspired us all to view Cardiff in a positive light. 

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