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Whimsical mural for Immersed Festival aims to inspire climate action

A mural designed by a University of South Wales (USW) Illustration student has been painted in Cardiff city centre as part of Immersed Festival and Wales’ first Future Generations Climate Convention.

The artwork is part of a collaboration between USW and environmental charity Music Declares Emergency, with support from Cardiff Council. The large-scale mural adorns the side of Sustainable Studios, an arts organisation that supports creative start-ups, who have recently renovated the former Transport Club on Tudor Street, Riverside.

The mural was designed by Meg Kingsbury, a second year BA Illustration student at USW, using this year’s festival theme of Future Utopias.

She said: “The mural was an opportunity we were lucky to receive as part of our Illustration for Place and Product module. I’m inspired by artists such as Charlie Bowater and Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic, and as I live in Cheltenham, home of the famous Paint Festival, there’s a lot of beautiful graffiti around town which massively inspires me.

“I was drawn towards the ocean/aquatic theme – I grew up in Bournemouth, and so ‘utopia’ for me will always be about the sea. From start to finish, the mural design took me around four weeks, and I drew up 14 ideas before settling on this one! I sketched some of the early designs with pencil and paper before using Procreate software for the final version.

“Seeing my art on the side of a building is incredibly surreal! I can’t believe I was picked for this mural; it’s such an honour to have my work on display and work with organisations that are so crucial for sustainability in the music industry. I’m excited for what the future holds.”

Lewis Jamieson, Director of Communications at Music Declares Emergency, said: “This is the third year that we have partnered with Immersed, and watching the event grow and develop has been an amazing experience.

“The input of the students, their enthusiasm, and their creativity is hugely inspiring and the willingness of USW and Cardiff Council to help realise ideas like the mural demonstrate what is possible.

“This year’s mural is a perfect encapsulation of the theme for Immersed of Future Utopias, visualising that crucial idea of a positive possible future with nature at its heart.

“I’m sure it will prove an inspiration to all who see it and a starting point for many to talk about the climate emergency and feel a sense of inclusion in the necessary conversations about how we move towards a greener and better future for all.”

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As part of Immersed 2024, USW’s Cardiff Campus hosted the Future Generations Climate Convention on 29 February with a series of panel discussions, keynote talks and showcase projects dedicated to empowering young people in climate conversations.

Other fringe events for the festival, which took place on Saturday 2 March at Tramshed in Cardiff, included a creative industries careers and networking fair, screenings of short films, an Immersed TV broadcast, exhibitions, art installations, immersive theatre, sustainable fashion projects and a live music showcase.

For more details, visit the Immersed website.