From the Station to the Sea

Fri 30 May 2014 to Sat 31 Mar 2018

An Ideas People Places Project, supported by the Arts Council of Wales.

From the Station to the Sea is a project about Swansea High Street. It is about the idea of the High Street, the lived reality of the place, and the possibilities of its transformation. The consortium, led by Coastal Housing and Volcano Theatre, has devised a programme of diverse yet connected projects, each of which addresses particular perceptions or concerns and focusses on the needs and desires of specific constituencies. Working with residents, traders, schools, workers, commuters, visitors and socially excluded people, the project aims to disrupt the prevailing power relations through imaginative interventions in the material and social realm of the street.

An earlier phase of the project saw the consortium transform a large empty space on the High Street into a temporary public space with a mini-beach, inflatable play zone and woodland area, which hosted a range of free events and activities from June 2014 to January 2015. The project partners used the various activities on the site as an opportunity to observe and record people’s responses to the High Street and changes within it.  

The next phase (running until late in 2017) will see the team bringing artists together with local organisations, schools, residents and traders to produce creative responses to issues identified in the previous phase, making imaginative longer-term transformations of buildings, street features and facilities, and of people’s experiences of the High Street. Projects that are already underway include:

A digital stories project for residents and local traders, aimed at building relationships, making connections and highlighting the diversity of people and experiences in the street. Led by Prue Thimbleby and Sarah Wright. Participants create their own digital stories using video, photo and audio techniques. These stories are shared via various media in locations within the street.

An artist commission to develop and create a fully accessible and inclusive community leisure space on Swansea High Street, designed collaboratively with pupils and staff of Ysgol Crug Glas, a nearby school for 3 to 19 year olds, all of whom have profound and multiple or complex learning difficulties. We envisage that space created through Thresholds will be a community facility where public access is led by those who experience the greatest barriers to access elsewhere. Supported by The People's Postcode Lottery. 

A children's literacy and storymaking initiative, which will increase children's access to high-quality literature experiences through workshops and events with authors and illustrators, and which aims to help make the High Street a more inclusive, family-friendly environment.

Mark Folds has been appointed as Swansea High Street's artist in residence, watch this space! 
An artist residency supported by elysiumgallery, exploring new types of relationships with High Street co-inhabitants and bring new voices into the conversation about what it’s like to live, work and play round here. 

Striking awnings or canopies designed by artists to meet the needs of independent traders, improve the environment for visitors and shoppers, and help create a distictive visual identity for the street. We have started working with Glasgow-based design studio Bespoke Atelier and High Street trader Tyrone Rees, proprietor of Buon Appetito, on the development of ideas towards a first new awning to the High Street. 

Artists work with local people to explore and reimagine one of the neglected passageways between the High Street and the river level. A collaboration with The Glitterationist International.

A visual transformation of a High Street landmark, in ways which encompass both change and continuity and bring unusual green spaces to the street.


Thu 13 Jul 2017 to Sun 16 Jul 2017

The Troublemakers’ Festival is about changing the world.  More specifically, it’s about changing the world – starting with Swansea High Street.

The festival reimagines the stretch of street between the station and Castle Square as a pedestrian-friendly place where arts and culture aren’t something special, but are part of everyday life. It opens up buildings that people perhaps don’t normally see and uses spaces that perhaps people don’t normally notice.

Troublemakers' Festival is brought to you by COASTAL HOUSING and VOLCANO and supported by the Arts Council of Wales and The Foyle Foundation.

If you would like to be involved, or require further information on these or other projects in the programme, please contact Carrie Rhys-Davies.

Story Street - Coastal