Welsh artist Pete Fowler is creating his largest work to date, celebrating Swansea’s most famous son with a cosmic makeover as part of Locws International’s latest commissions for Swansea High Street. Titled ‘Portrait of the the Artist as a Young Octopus‘, Fowler’s monumental work will have an instant impact.
Opposite the train station, a former nightclub (The Venue) has been transformed to celebrate Dylan Thomas as part of Art Across The City, ahead of the Dylan Thomas Centenary in 2014. Playing with quirky references to his writing, the mural celebrates Dylan’s work with affectionate nods to Swansea. Fowler’s unique, inimitable style brings a vibrant dash of colour and history to the High Street.
The giant 9 x 6m mural has Dylan as its centrepiece, complemented by Fowler’s unique take on Swansea including it’s maritime and mining heritage, Viking history, UFO sightings alongside two giant horned horses and a pair of pink octopus. The work was developed alongside Locws International’s Swansea Icons workshop programme, where local schools were involved in learning about Swansea and proposing new icons for the City, many of which are featured in Fowler’s largest commission to date.
Some of Pete Fowler’s most recognisable images have been for the Super Furry Animals‘ albums, videos, merchandise. His Monsterism creations have spanned toy figures, clothing, CDs, stationary and more, gaining a world-wide fan base.
Locws International’s Project Manager, Gordon Dalton said ‘Pete’s work is extremely popular and instantly recognisable. It’s a great introduction to Swansea for first time visitors, and a pick me up for commuters and residents of the City. The school workshops programme has been an inspiration for the children and the artists alike’. Russell Greenslade, Chief Executive of Swansea BID, said, ‘As the lead for The Art Across The High Street project it’s great to see this project come to life helping improve the trading environment in the area it’s in.’
Fowler’s latest work is part of the Art Across The High Street scheme, a partnership project to improve the appearance of Swansea City Centre by commissioning bold artworks for disused or run-down retail units. The project is funded by the Welsh Government, City & County of Swansea and Swansea BID and delivered in partnership with LOCWS International. Art Across The High Street is contributing to the regeneration of Swansea City Centre, making it a more desirable, attractive location. The artworks aim to attract both a local and national audience, promoting tourism and excellent media publicity for the area and issues involved in regenerating the wider UK High Street.