Canton’s fresh look: Cardiff will have its first abstract road crossing

As part of the improvement projects, an artwork will be installed as road crossing later this year.

An abstract artwork designed by a local artist will be installed as a road crossing later this year on the Cowbridge Road East at Canton

As part of the improvement projects, Cardiff Council hold an open call for the road crossing design that attracted more than 50 applications, the final winner is Steffan Dafydd, the only artist from local in the top 3 design.

“ I’m ecstatic that when I get to know I can design and contribute things back to the street that raises me. I live two minutes walk from the street and it is also nearly halfway to my own house and my parent’s house. It will be a bizarre feeling when I can see my design every day,” said Steffan.

As the first road crossing of its kind in Cardiff, Steffan’s design reflects the local culture, history, and architecture of this busy area of Canton.

“I take photos and reflect textures of things I like and places I like to go for a walk in Canton. And I sketch the area a little bit and take textures from different buildings, floors and things like that,” he said.

Being an authentic resident of Canton, one of the things Steffan would do when designing is to reflect the vibrates of this community. “Canton is an energetic area in Cardiff, it has people with different cultures and backgrounds here, I want these elements to get involved.”

“Physically it has everything in Canton, I don’t want to change any single thing. So after morphing and distorting these different segments and layering them up, you can see it becomes really abstract,” said Steffan.

Steffan has two strong competitors in this program. One of them is Trin Brierley, a sign painter and mural artist who lives in South East London.

“Trin is the one who really knows how to make big artworks. Her design is really conceptual and has cool ideas behind it. I am not really sure why my design is more popular than hers. Maybe it’s because I’m from the local,” Steffan said humbly.  

This crossing design is part of the improvement projects proposed by Cardiff Council. The project forms part of the Council’s Neighbourhood Renewal Schemes Programme and aims to deliver pedestrian improvements.

Work has now begun on Cowbridge Road East and will last approximately 12 weeks. According to the Cardiff council, Steffan’s design will be installed on Cowbridge Road East later this year.