Splott Beach – excavation​ and site of memory

Located not far from Cardiff bays development retail park Splott Beach is a hidden gem within Cardiff that very few people have heard off. Used as an industrial dumping ground in the past, the hidden beach has become a somewhat post-industrial symbol for the destruction and debris of local factories within the area. The east Moore steelworks and the smaller factories that were demolished in the 1980s such as the biscuit factories and spillers mill have manufactured a new landscape and over the years reshaped the environment.

For me what is interesting is the evident ceramic history that is openly prevalent across the beach. The beach could be regarded as a timeline of sorts in which we can analyse and excavate ceramic history, manufacturing techniques and development of various materials through the ages. The beach holds vestige to the idea of how lasting ceramics is and its wear through time.

The beach is a perfect symbol with regards fragmentary memory. Over time the debris that has slowly washed up upon the coastline shore has been corroded, warped and transformed into its environment. I very often talk about how the older a memory is the more distorted the apprehension or redescribing of it tends to be. this couldn’t be more exemplary with regards to these objects, some vaguely resembling their original manufactured design. Memories we tend to reject or discard are never truly forgotten, but like this beach stored on a plain and slowly distort as time goes by. As we get older we pick and choose (excavate) these memories from this plain often depicting a picturesque scenario very different than the events that originally transpired, thus where the idea of nostalgia plays its part.

Moving forward I intend to use this beach as an excavation site, a spot in which to investigate and uncover the historical relevance in relation to the area and further myself and my ideas surrounding memory and the falsity of nostalgia. Once what was a dumping ground for industrial companies has become a hidden gem within the Cardiff area. .

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