For the majority of this month, Project/Ten’s latest exhibition Autumn #3 has occupied an empty shop on St Mary Street, Cardiff, just a stone’s throw away from Cardiff Castle. The contemporary art and design gallery has one show per season, displaying each in a pop-up shop format in temporary locations around Cardiff. In its third year, the privately owned gallery has acted as a platform for emerging artists and designers who presently, or used to, live or study in Wales. Tastefully displayed over the shop’s two floors, Autumn #3 showcases the most recent work from the galleries existing pool of 22 artists and designers, also including new work by national Eisteddfod gold medal winning artist carwyn evans.
Most striking from the display is the latest collection of intricate nail and thread drawings from gallery designer Debbie Smyth, who has attracted commissions from major companies such as Adidas and Mercedes Benz. From the neat and colourful outline of words to elaborate weavings of telephones and masts on ships, these unique masterpieces offer accurate and neatly constructed designs which boast both playfulness and elegance.
Further notable works see Ruth McLees’ figurative paintings of woman’s faces with hair that physically takes shape as it continues off the backing canvas, using a number of layering textiles to imitate the escaping mass. Natalia Dias’ porcelain sculptures of modified body parts, most commonly the heart, make for a craftily manipulated, but effectively stark and simple ornamental piece.
The gallery’s owner Cat Gardiner and her committed team of artists, who currently stand alone from other Cardiff galleries who largely focus on landscape designs, have strived to make contemporary art accessible for Cardiff residents who wish to buy close to home, without having to cross the border.
Autumn #3 closes shortly, but Project/Ten will pop-up again in another Cardiff location for their Christmas piece.