A great deal of town planning has started at the Wales Millennium Centre this week – as two artists encourage people to create their own cardboard Cardiff.
It’s called Home Sweet Home, an interactive installation created by Subject to Change, which people are invited to build themselves to create a new town modelled on the Welsh capital.
People acquire a property from the estate agent, before assembling and decorating their flat-pack house however they like.
Abigail Conway, 31, Subject to Change founder, said: “It’s a DIY approach to art making. We want people to make their own experience and celebrate being the artist.
“We’re interested in the ownership of art and space, and how we can get people involved and immersed.” The town has a post office and postman so you can write to neighbours or strangers. It also has a community board for notices of businesses or petitions, and a radio station playing tunes and announcing who’s moved in.
Abigail said: “We also have a councillor, who’s the unseen power that you can write to. We’ve been told that someone’s opened a police station, Sergeant Big Dave.
“Who appointed him? Who knows?! Now we’ve heard there’s going to be a little-Amsterdam opening next to the police station.
“The whole town is a reimagining of Cardiff in a playful intergenerational way – as time goes on the town grows. On the last day, when the town is complete we invite our residents back for a street party.”
Lucy Hayhoe, 30, co-creator of Home Sweet Home, said: “There’s a gentle participation, and a lot of choice in what you do. We did one in LA, which was strange – it started out like they were building the American dream. “Then a couple of troublemakers moved in and someone opened an Inuit whale-slaying shop.
Suddenly we had an anti-whale slaying march down the main street. “We’ve travelled around the world with it – to Australia, America, Japan, Canada, Germany, Poland and the UK, but this is our first time in Cardiff.”
Abigail said: “The difference between kids’ and adults’ interactions are funny – adults generally want to cause trouble, and kids just want a swimming pool in their back garden and to go to parties.
“I think it’s going to be quite playful here in Wales. People get it. At it’s heart it’s a playful interaction, where everyone owns a piece of this. “Without everyone coming, without an audience, it wouldn’t exist. So it’s a celebratory piece, where everyone’s an artist.”
Home Sweet Home runs from February 16-21 in the Glanfa foyer at the Wales Millennium Centre with 100 units available a day on a first come, first serve basis. Subject to Change also encourage anyone attending to bring along any extra craft supplies they want to use.