Image by Katrina Adams

Two bridges to be transformed with murals

Project will turn landmarks from eyesores to eye-catching

THE Vale of Glamorgan Council has commissioned an artist to transform two bridges into eye-catching landmarks.

The Cogan Bridge, over the railway tracks near Tesco, and Gladstone Bridge, near Barry Morrison’s were recently targeted with graffiti.

They have since been identified as landmarks for improvement in a scheme funded by the Welsh Government.

Katrina Adams, a UK-based artist, has designed the two murals which will be hand painted in Barry and Penarth Marina. 

She held a workshop to collaborate with local residents to develop a design that resonates with the community.

Katrina is a self-taught artist, known for her abstract two- and three-dimensional artworks, which feature geometric shapes and a vivid colour palette.

The final designs explore what Barry and Penarth Marina mean to the community, and the chosen shapes and colours were inspired by local landmarks and the town’s history.

She said: “I took an adult-learning course in printmaking in 2014, and I just really loved it. It’s the only time that I actually lose myself. 

“Then I fell pregnant with my third child quite unexpectedly, but I wanted to carry on doing printmaking, so I sort of made a way of doing it from home.

“I started selling my prints to fund my hobby. Because I live in London, I got heavily involved with the first year of the Peckham festival and I’m now an ambassador for them. They found a space for me to sell my prints and I couldn’t believe it – they just sold out.”

Pictured: Katrina Adams

Finding positivity from the life-changing events of 2020, Katrina is getting back to being creative and has returned to her Welsh roots for the project.  

She said: “The way I do abstract art is to get people to look at things in a different way. 

(Top to bottom) The Gladstone Bridge and Cogan Bridge design. By Katrina Adams.

“Every one of my shapes has a narrative; every shape has a history – a story behind it, an inspiration.

“I like the idea of things being a bit abstract so that it draws people in and they want to find out about the narrative and explore it.”

The start of the hand-painted mural on Gladstone Bridge, Barry. Image by Katrina Adams.

The Gladstone Bridge design takes inspiration from the natural landscapes. For example, the blue shapes are a symbol for The Knap, the green triangles evoke the hills and valleys, and the pink shapes symbolise the broken arch at Porthkerry Viaduct.  

The design for Cogan Bridge shows elements of the barrage and Cogan Pill House in the dark blue shapes, the map of the docks and marina in the yellow, and chimneys from steamboats in the black symbols.  

Location of Cogan Bridge. Image via Google Maps.

Peter King, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport, said: “It’s great to see a collaborative project that will not only visually improve the local area but will also provide a story of local history.

“The scheme will transform the bridges into vibrant, inviting landmarks, hopefully encouraging residents to make use of the walkways and access active travel routes.”

The two murals will be completed by Swansea Painters, the contractors who won the tender to paint Katrina’s design.  

They have already cleaned and primed both bridges, and the project should be completed next week.