Happy Birthday Dylan Thomas

In celebration of the Dylan Thomas CentenaryLocws International are proud to share four public artworks currently on display in the city of Swansea, by artists Pete Fowler, DJ Roberts, Mark Folds, and Turner prize winner Jeremy Deller.  For a location map and to plan your visit, click here.

Produced especially for the Dylan Thomas Centenary celebrations, artist DJ Roberts has produced a white neon text running along the Park Street exterior of Swansea’s famous Kardomah Cafe, that reads:


The line is taken from a Dylan Thomas radio broadcast Return Journey to Swansea. In the broadcast, Thomas tells of his return to Swansea in search of his former self, growing up in the town. We find him at one stage in the Kardomah Café with his friends, putting the world to rights. They talk about ‘music and poetry and painting and politics‘. They talk about ‘communism, symbolism, Bradman and Braque‘. They talk about ‘Michelangelo, ping-pong, ambition, Sibelius, and girls…

A simple statement in black and white, More Poetry Is Needed sits on a large wall in St Mary’s Car Park to the rear of the Quadrant Shopping Centre. Greeting visitors to the city centre, Deller’s plaintive request gets straight to the point. Everybody and everywhere could do with more poetry. Writer Rachel Trezise has responded by writing 6 micro-fictions you will find distributed across bars and cafes in Swansea.


Dylans Pencil by Mark Folds, can be found in Cwmdonkin Park. The sculpture represents simple, humble beginnings: initial ideas jotted down on paper by a writer; the sketches made by an artist; the starting point for all types of creativity. The aim of the work is to engage people in thinking that something amazing, such as Dylan Thomas’ poetry, emerged from something so basic in this place.

During Mark Folds’ research visit to Cwmdonkin Park, he was inspired by the presence of a large tree stump standing at over 30 foot high, as well as the long association the park has with the poet Dylan Thomas. The poet is known to have written many of his early works in or about Cwmdonkin Park in the 1930’s, no doubt using pencil and paper and possibly under this actual tree.


Artist Pete Fowler has created his largest work to date, celebrating Swansea’s most famous son with a cosmic modern makeover. Titled; Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Octopus, the 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.

Opposite Swansea train station, a derelict nightclub has been transformed to celebrate Dylan Thomas. 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.