7 Days of Culture: From David Hockney to Craig David

Craig David
Craig David, Photograph: Ticketmaster

Okay, so maybe not quite seven days. But over the course of a week I enjoyed two of Cardiff’s cultural offerings, and after spending a Thursday evening in March appreciating Craig David’s remarkable comeback to the music sphere, a hit song in the title only seemed appropriate. To myself, and the other five thousand people in attendance, Craig David performing at the Motorpoint Arena was a cultural highlight. Just under a mile away a few days later, in the National Museum of Cardiff, I experienced another display of creative culture in the shape of a private art collection. Here we explore Cardiff’s varied creative scene on opposite ends of the cultural spectrum.

Sixteen years ago Craig David appeared to have it all. But with all the highs that came with reaching the pinnacle of the UK charts, a few years later Craig David found himself walking away and fans were left asking him to fill us in as to what went wrong (see what I did there?). Then remarkably, in 2016 Craig David successfully made a comeback to the music industry, with new music and a new twist with his DJ Set TS5. David’s ability to overcome changes in the production, content and reception processes in a newly digitalised music industry has allowed him to have success sixteen years after he initially debuted on the music scene.

Growing up near David’s home city of Southampton, he was a local hero and when tickets were released for a concert in Cardiff there was no hesitation in whether to go. The concert was an eclectic celebration of all things old and new, with David appeasing both the fans that were with him sixteen years ago and those who have come to appreciate him over the past year. As a garage, R&B and hip-hop singer songwriter he may not be to the taste of us all, but there is no denying his cultural value to his fans.

This way for the exhibition..

The second day of my cultural week featured what some might argue is more ‘conventional’ culture. Until January 2018 Cardiff National Museum has been graced with a stunning private collection of artwork and sculptures including many of the 20th century’s most renowned artists. Two of the displays are works by Francis Bacon and Monica Doig, and in fitting accordance the collection is named the Bacon to Doig Exhibition. The owners have such a passion for art that many pieces were collected prior to the artists finding fame and now, whilst the owner’s house is undergoing refurbishment, they have kindly shared the collection to Museum so others can enjoy their passion too.

For anyone who may need more persuasion, as well as Bacon and Doig, other works in the collection include Turner prize winner Grayson Perry, and sculptors David Hockney and Antony Gormley to name just a few. The host of  artists featured make the exhibition a real celebration of modern British art all in the one room. Furthermore the exhibition is entirely free. Yes, free! As the Welsh Government fund the museum through a grant, you can enjoy the exhibition, alongside the rest of the museum’s offerings, completely free of charge. In the future perhaps the funding of these cultural treasures may no longer be there, so make the most of it whilst you can.

So from Craig David to David Hockney, the vibrant and multi-cultural city of Cardiff offers something for everyone. Whilst Craig David’s Cardiff appearance has happened, he is touring at many festivals this summer so there is still a chance for anyone who wishes to experience his creative comeback. Meanwhile with the Bacon to Doig Exhibition remaining in the Museum until 2018 there is opportunity aplenty to enjoy some arty masterpieces.

Photo Credit: Ticketmaster