Cardiff Arcades Project featured on Wales Online

A huge thankyou to Ed Walker from Your Cardiff today, who put up my piece on the project – for this one I had to write a little opinion piece telling readers about the project.

You’ll also spot a new photograph that I haven’t published anywhere else yet – the mannequin with sunglasses is taken in the window of the High Street Arcade’s Joke Shop 🙂

A few Castle Arcade photos…

Just wanted to share a few of the Castle Arcade photos I took last week on my first “official” projects shoot.

I only spent about 15-20 minutes in the Arcade and it’s what convinced me absolutely that this would be a fantastic project. If I can spot many, many photo opps in just a few minutes, imagine how many more I’ll be able to come across in the coming weeks and months.

These won’t be new to anyone who follows me on Flickr, but enjoy all the same. If you want to see more from this set, please follow this Flickr link.

I took some new pictures in the High Street Arcade on Friday too, will post those asap!

Please remember to get in touch if you are a shopkeeper/know a shopkeeper and would like me to photograph you and your Arcade store. If you really don’t want to be in the pictures yourself, that’s fine too, I’m happy just taking photos around your shop. Email me on or follow me on Twitter, @amydavies

Arcades Project in The Guardian!

Thanks so much to Hannah Waldram from the Guardian Cardiff for posting about my project today! I really appreciate the help that has come forward on this so quickly and the kind messages of support I’ve received on the Twittersphere!

Read about the Cardiff Arcades Project in The Guardian

Remember … if you want to get involved, drop me a line! (@amydavies or

An introduction…

For my first post, I feel like I should include a little introduction to the project. Basically this entire project is spun out of a whimsical thought I had just a couple of days ago – the thought being that it would be cool to do a photography project centred around the beautiful Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades that can be found in Cardiff’s City Centre. I’m completing a Project 365, and I wandered in there on the way home looking for inspiration on Tuesday night (the resulting photo you can see a bit further down the page…)

I assumed it must have been done a million times before, as it seems like such an obvious choice, and one filled with so many possibilities. I tweeted that I was half considering doing this and local website @yourcardiff (part of Media Wales) got in touch to tell me they’d love to feature a slideshow of images, and that, to their knowledge that nobody had undertaken a project like this, and if they had, it was high time another one was done.

Since no images actually existed, I asked them if they could help me get the ball rolling instead and they promised to be in touch the next day.

By the morning, I’d also been tweeted by @michelledavis, who owns the @garlandseatery cafe and the amazing @rulesofplaygame board-game shop, saying she’d be up for helping. Since I have a fear of going up to strangers to ask if I can photograph them, it struck me that my fear could be overcome by getting the strangers to come to me. Still a bit scary, yes, but not so terrifying anymore.

Fast forward just a few hours and Your Cardiff are letting me put out a post next week asking for people to come forward, and local arts group hack/flash are also hoping to get involved. Helia from hack/flash says all the best projects come from those that are based on a random thought one evening.

I sure hope she’s right. I can envisage so many sub-projects within this project, which is what I think will keep my interest piqued. For now, I’m really looking for shopkeepers and/or workers to get in touch if they would like me to swing by and take photos of them and their shop. I think that once I’ve done a few, I will get the courage up to ask the shops that haven’t come forward.

I love the arcades and I really want them to thrive in an undeniably difficult economic time and with increasing competition from shops on Queen Street and in St David’s. I don’t want to be evangelical but I know we will all be very disappointed if the arcades empty out and only relics are left.

If my project can help the arcades in any way (either through a tiny bit of publicity for individual shops and businesses or just through general intrigue) I will feel like I have done a good job, and of course, in return I’ll hopefully meet some awesome people and have some great photos.

I should probably say at this point that posts won’t always be as long as this, but I wanted to lay it all on the line for you to read, so you know the deal before signing up. I’m hoping that it will end up being a mixture of short blogposts, pictures, galleries, interviews and snippets of information about arcade history – maybe even the odd map. There’s probably some unanswered questions here, so if you have any please do get in contact, and please pass this message on to anyone who you think might have the smallest of interest and might be able to help.

Thankyou and wish me luck!

If you are a shopkeeper and would like me to come and take photos in your shop (and of you if you don’t mind) please email me on or stalk me on twitter (@amydavies) and we’ll arrange something as soon as possible!

Any questions?

Here’s the rather ordinary photo that started this all off… taken in the Morgan Arcade.

From the Morgan Arcade...