Final year BA student Diego Zelaya has stamped his personal mark on the project at the Cardiff School of Art and Design with several large-scale portraits of his fellow students.
It’s the latest in a series of initiatives to involve students in the £14 million Llandaff campus project, where Willmott Dixon is creating a new 91,129 square foot building and refurbishing the current accommodation to unify the School’s courses and research by consolidating the Howard Garden and Llandaff campuses into one single site.
Diego said: “When the Dean and Willmott Dixon approached me about creating the artwork, I instantly agreed - it’s a nice way for students to feel involved with the project. I used spray paints to create the portraits, which took six days to complete. They depict first year students who will be using the new campus when it opens. I thought it would be a good way for them to feel a part of the new building. It’s also nice to be able to leave my mark on the department in my final year and showcase my artwork to the public.”
Neal Stephens, Willmott Dixon managing director in Wales, said: “It’s great to see Diego’s work on site having making such an impact. At Willmott Dixon we constantly involve people connected to our projects with the construction process. This has been a good opportunity to showcase the work of one of the school’s talented students, with Diego’s portraits representing the future of Cardiff School of Art and Design.”
Professor Gaynor Kavanagh, Dean of Cardiff School of Art and Design, said: “Diego has signalled just how much energy the School will bring to the Llandaff campus when it moves there fully in the late summer of 2014. Through the execution of these five portraits, he has indicated something important about the skill and creative insight that are the hallmarks of our student body. His work is invested with humour and affection and gives everyone who sees his work a very positive sense of what the School is all about. To paint on this scale, with such fine detail, on fairly ordinary boards is a real tribute to Diego as an artist.”
Willmott Dixon has an established relationship with Cardiff Metropolitan University (formerly UWIC), after working in framework with them for four years. Completed projects include the Cardiff School of Management, Campus Centre and Food Industries Centre.
The new Llandaff campus will open in September 2014 for the new academic year.