Retro arcade

Duke Street Arcade, Cardiff

Artist Kera is no stranger to Cardiff and has painted in the city on many occasions but his latest visit was to help upgrade one of Cardiff’s little gems:- The Duke Street arcade!

In the photo above from Mr Numb the floor does look rather unimpressive and as the sign to the left suggests – it definitely does need a transformation!

Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Set amongst the warren of Victorian arcades this arcade had a very unloved and brutal concrete floor which was rather unappealing – until now!

Hailing from Berlin – Kera designed and painted this tech floor stretching the length of a busy city centre arcade along with assistance from local artist Wasp Elder.

Copyright Dan Green
Credit: Dan Green

Kera Duke Street arcade floor, CardiffKera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
All the businesses along the route wanted to remain trading so the arcade was essentially split into two to allow work to take place and to take place late at night!
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, CardiffKera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff

The concrete floor had to be repaired, filled and treated before any paint could be applied – along with all the floor lights being taped up too.

Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff

A ‘fine art’ shop on one corner houses lots of quality artwork and there’s a hope some fine art will translate to this floor aswell.

So after many days work as one side of the arcade was completed the artwork on the floor was quickly covered up to prevent damage before the final protective layers were added.

Resulting in being teased with just small portions of Kera’s work poking out from under the covers! You can’t rush perfection.

Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Copyright Kera
But luckily Kera posted a few ‘work in progress’ pictures on social media as access to the arcade was difficult after dark.


Copyright Kera
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff

Freezing temperatures and some snow courtesy of the beast from the east didn’t stop work progressing with Kera’s geometric pattern becoming ever more present.

“Kera occupies himself with colours, printing techniques and facade design over more than 18 years. Especially the interconnection of working with the computer and the realization on the wall attract the artist.

His artwork is abstract but at the same time spatial. Aesthetics and graphic arts play an important role together.” – Kera website

Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff

After so much preparation and hard work Kera’s work was now complete.

Measuring around 170 square meters this commission features 512 individual squares – what an amazing design and what a fantastic overhaul to the arcade.

Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff

It’s great to see that such hard work has paid off and got it’s own plaque.

Love the reflections in this!

Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff
Kera Duke Street arcade floor, Cardiff

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