USW students create new Welsh language mural for Cardiff

Music Declares Emergency Immersed mural - Megan Lockie_web.jpg

Image: Megan Lockie

Leading music and climate charity, Music Declares Emergency, has partnered with students from the University of South Wales (USW) to create a new Welsh language mural in Cardiff city centre.

Part of their No Music on a Dead Planet campaign, the mural – designed by a team of BA(Hons) Illustration students – is the first to translate the iconic slogan from English, and blends Welsh folklore, Wales’ musical heritage and climate activism.

The 5 metre high artwork was unveiled yesterday on Womanby Street, at the heart of Cardiff’s music and nightlife scene. It depicts the Mari Lwyd, which belongs to a tradition of horse head bearing, gang singing, and competitive verse in Wales associated with Christmas and the New Year, but has taken on a life of its own as a symbol of Welshness over the past few decades.

The project has been led by Lucy Squire, Head of Music at USW, and Liam Barrett, Illustration lecturer, with Lewis Jamieson of Music Declares Emergency. Lucy said: “The opportunity to work with Music Declares Emergency and host their first event in Wales is providing our music community with important context and focus for environmental change. Placed within the heart of Cardiff’s musical epicentre in Womanby Street, the mural marks a creative moment to reflect on climate change and inspire collective action.”

Music Declares Emergency Immersed mural_web.jpgThe mural is a part of the University’s Immersed! Festival, which celebrates Welsh music and creative talent.

This year the event is partnering with the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival, showcasing the best of South Wales’ vibrant music scene across three fringe events, all in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.

The festival kicked off on Tuesday (29 March) and will reach its finale on Thursday at CULTVR Lab with a multisensory audio-visual experience.

Liam said: “It was great for our USW Illustration students to mark Music Declare Emergency’s first visit to Wales by creating this mural.

"The mural is not only there to bring attention to the important No Music on a Dead Planet campaign but also celebrates a communal aspect of live music and Cardiff’s lively independent music scene, which has nurtured many up and coming musicians over the years.”

Lewis added: “Music Declares Emergency exists to bring everyone into the conversation about how we respond to the climate emergency, and we are thrilled to be unveiling our first non-English mural in the heart of Wales, a country with an astoundingly rich musical and social heritage. By placing this amazing mural at the heart of Cardiff’s gig district, we hope that music fans of all types will think about its message and how they can play a part in responding to the greatest challenge we face.”

For more information on Immersed!, visit

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