The Dylan Thomas Uplands Walkabout Trail

Posted: 5th August 2018

Following the success of the 10 utility boxes that we painted last year for The Dylan Thomas Uplands Walkabout Trail, Fresh Creative Co. were commissioned once again to produce a further 10 utility boxes to add to the ever growing collection of street art in Uplands Swansea.


In order to keep a constant theme running through all the utility boxes, we used a copper colour scheme for the background, in keeping with Swansea’s rich history in copper. In fact Swansea was once responsible for 50% of the world’s refined copper between 1830-1870. That’s a lot of copper! For this set of boxes however, we switched from the copper spray paint we used for the previous boxes to a sign enamel paint which has enabled us to get a much better finish on this set of boxes compared to the earlier ones we painted.  This took longer to apply than our previous method, but it was completely worth it. The old copper looked great, but the new copper is definitely an upgrade.

This time around we also stuck with the same Verdigris tones of Rivera we used for the previous boxes to depict iconic images of Dylan Thomas and relating subject matter. This time, however, alongside the stencil style of the first boxes, we also added two sign written boxes, hand painted in situ the old fashioned way, with a lettering brush and some one shot sign painting enamels


The portrait boxes, along with one of Dylan Thomas, were of Vernon Phillips Watkins (27 June 1906 – 8 October 1967), who was a Welsh poet, translator and painter. He was a close friend of fellow poet Dylan Thomas who described him as “the most profound and greatly accomplished Welshman writing poems in English”. and Daniel Jenkyn Jones OBE (7 December 1912 – 23 April 1993) seen pictured below. Daniel Jones was a Welsh composer of classical music, who worked in Britain. He used both serial and tonal techniques. He is best known for his quartets and thirteen symphonies (some composed in his own system of ‘Complex Metres’) and for his song settings for Dylan Thomas’s play, “Under Milk Wood”.

Fresh Creative Co. used a stencil style to replicate these images consisting of multiple layers to capture the depth and detail to represent a true likeness.

The Sign Written boxes featured lines composed by local Uplands poet David ‘Ollie’ Ward

These art works will be accompanied by a series of wooden plaques, featuring Quick Response Codes (QR), which once scanned by smart phone, activate and and link to a website featuring details of the life of Dylan Thomas.

Uplands councillor Peter May, who with Uplands colleague Irene Mann  helped jointly fund the project from their community budgets,  Peter said: “The images have been commissioned by a local artist, and we thought as well as funding issues such as yellow lines or residents parking bays, it would be good to do something to brighten up the area.

“It is our contribution to the Dylan Thomas trail, and a contribution to the City of Culture bid.”

“It is a good selling point for the Uplands.”

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