Cardiff and Vale College students showcase the Humans of Cardiff

9 Jun 2017

Creative students from Cardiff and Vale College have launched an exhibition of portraits of people from Cardiff at the Sustainable Studio just off Dumballs Road.

The students have been taking part in the Humans of Cardiff project. They met with local people – sometimes family and friends, sometimes strangers – took photos of them and recorded their stories. They then used the photographs to create their own interpretations of the people as works of art which are accompanied by texts outlining their subjects often moving stories.

A special private view was held at the Sustainable Studio, where many of the ‘Humans’ saw their portraits for the very first time – several did not even know their photographs had been turned into art. Music students also performed at the event.

Steve was painted by 17-year-old Morgan Jones from Pontyclun. Morgan described Steve, her mother’s partner, as one of her best friends.

“I didn’t see it coming – I didn’t have clue; we’d just come here to see the exhibition,” Steve said. “I think the portrait is brilliant, she’s got my smile all right – and my crow’s feet!

“It’s nice to be famous for five minutes and I really like the exhibition. I’m still trying to take it all in.”

Eighteen-year-old Emily Lynch from Cardiff painted her mum Dorothy, “the strongest person that I know”. The portrait is of Dorothy in her nurse’s uniform to reflect the work that she does helping people.

“I think the portrait’s lovely – I’m really happy with it,” Dorothy said. “I’m very happy to be part of this. I think the College has got a very talented group of people here, it’s very impressive for 18-year-olds and I think the singing is beautiful as well – I’m really surprised at the level of maturity.”

Felix Ray, 20 and from Cardiff, painted his friend Eve because she has dealt with difficulties in the past and is a kind and generous person who is full of enthusiasm for helping other people.

Eve said: “The portrait is lovely, it’s amazing – Felix is very talented. He did tell me a bit about what he was doing but I hadn’t seen it until now.

“I really like the portrait and I’ve taken a picture of it to show my mum. The exhibition is a really good idea and it’s nice to read about all different people who live in Cardiff.”

“I’m really happy with the exhibition,” Felix said. “It’s been a long time in preparation and it’s nice to see it all here finally. The Sustainable Studio is an amazing space and I’m probably going to use it again in the future.”

Last month the Music students held a special performance at the College ahead of the launch of the exhibition. Humans of Cardiff founder Dan Donnelly attended the concert and said:

“The songs and tunes stuck in my mind. Each and every single one of those performers has an amazing talent and I found it impossible to single out any particular one of them from the rest.

“I felt moved and emotional watching the show, and those who came along with me have all said how fantastic it was, too.”

CAVC Head of Creative Industries Kristen Harries said: “Humans of Cardiff is a wonderful project and I am immensely proud of all of the learners who took part, either in painting the portraits or performing their music. This exhibition and private view will be a fantastic and inspirational experience for them.”

The students’ Humans of Cardiff portraits have been submitted to the prestigious Saatchi gallery Schools Prize competition and have also been put forward for the Royal Academy Summer Show.

The exhibition will continue at the Sustainable Studio, Unit 7, Curran Road, Cardiff CF10 5NE until 23rd June. For more information visit