We Are Cardiff’s film is premiering at Chapter Sunday 7 July – last chance to get tickets!

we are cardiff film poster

A reminder that the film I made about what it’s like to live through a year in Cardiff is PREMIERING at CHAPTER ARTS CENTRE this SUNDAY 7 JULY at 12.30 MIDDAY!

It’s got a lovely soundtrack from Cardiff bands, features various Cardiff residents – amongst them, Radio One DJ Huw Stephens. Oh yes we did!

We’re creeping towards capacity, so if you need tickets get them here from Eventbrite

Facebook event with more info here

Adam Chard will be selling limited edition prints of our lovely city of Cardiff that he’s designed for the special price of TEN POUNDS at the launch on Sunday! Total bargain. Check out his pretty A3 print below!

It’s available pre-order on his BigCartel page here. It’s an edition of 50 hand-numbered and signed 420x297mm prints on 350gsm silk card.

You can either order to collect at the We are Cardiff documentary premiere at Chapter Arts Centre on Sunday 7 July, or for dispatch on Monday 8 July – remember the preorder price is reduced so place your orders before midnight on Sunday!

We Are Cardiff: Portrait of a City film premiere!

Hello friends!

As you may or may not know, I’ve been working on making a film for nearly a year and a half now. THE DAY HAS COME FOR THE BEAST TO BE UNLEASHED! There’s a launch screening party at Chapter Arts Centre on Sunday 7th July at 12:30pm (lunchtime), and I’d really REALLY love to see you there. Tickets are available for the very reasonable price of £6 and there will be coffee, tea and welshcakes!

Please forward this on to anyone who you know who might like to come along. Tickets are only available in advance from http://wearecardiffportraitofacity.eventbrite.com (they aren’t available from the Chapter box office, be warned…)

The facebook event is here.

I do hope I shall see you there.



We Are Cardiff – street scene

We’ve recently started a new series of posts on the We Are Cardiff blog called Street seen. It’s basically – you’ve guessed it – people we’ve seen on the streets of Cardiff. Or in parks. Or just around generally, you know what I mean.

Asking people to write stories about the city can be quite daunting, as evidenced by the number of people who ask about taking part in the site and then freeze as soon as they’re asked to write something, retreating slowly from my persistent emails like Peter Griffin backing slowly out of a room where he’s just accidentally set something on fire. I should know, I’ve been trying (and failing) to write my own Cardiff story for the past five months!

Anyway. To try and combat this and also vary things up a bit on the blog we’re doing these shorter posts that are more focused on the photography and the small but tasty morsels of information we find out about people while taking their pictures.

It’s been great motivation to take my camera out and start talking to random people (not that I ever need any encouragement to do that, but anyway). People do share the most unexpected information with you in passing. Also up until now I’ve just been doing mostly admin type things for We Are Cardiff – the ‘office’ backend stuff, so it’s nice to get into it and do something practical for the project. I do help out on photoshoots and I have been producing the We Are Cardiff film, but again that’s mostly admin or runner-type tasks. It’s nice to be doing something creative for it.

The first ‘Street seen’ post went up on Sunday and featured someone I actually know – Lia Moutselou, who runs the Lia’s Kitchen blog and was holding a stall at the Made In Roath Spring Fiesta. Most of the posts will be anonymous unless those photographed specifically want their details shared. I kind of like the different style of post compared with our usual ‘We Are Cardiff’ posts, which are intensely personal and packed with details. Variety is good, eh?

To read Lia’s post, click on her photograph below.

Photoblog: Cardiff Central Library

I went for a wander into town yesterday and popped into my local library, which happens to be Cardiff Central Library. It’s such an improvement from the old library (the horrible red brick monster on the edge of the Hayes, if any of you remember that). This one is big and airy and futuristic – all angles and open space and wood and glass and steel. I love it.


Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Cardiff Central Library, May 2013

Libraries are cool! I especially like ours. It still feels shiney and new, even though it’s a couple of years old now. You should make a point of popping in on your next trip into Cardiff city centre. They have loads of info about events going on in the city.

Featured on Inspiring Cardiff

Another one I somehow managed to miss from before Christmas – the lovely Gwion Thorpe cornered me outside the We Are Cardiff Roath Stories exhibition and managed to get a snap of me enjoying some beer in between sorting out the event. Phew! He also wrote a very nice article which accompanies the photo, which you can read here: Inspiring Cardiff – Helia Phoenix. Have a click through his site. There’s a lot of nice stuff on there!

Project Cardiff

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this site. Apologies for my absence. But I’m back!

Last year I was honoured to have been included as one of Project Cardiff’s 50 individuals who have contributed to the creative arts in our fair city.

You can see the photograph that the lovely Lann Niziblian took along with a mini interview here: Helia Phoenix – Project Cardiff.

Thanks and well done to Spike and Lann for curating such a wonderful exhibition!

The hack flash poetry booth at Made in Roath Festival 2012

UPDATE. Due to circumstances out of my control, I’ll no longer be manning the poetry booth at Made In Roath. Maybe next year…


Well, this is a little bit exciting, isn’t it? As part of Made In Roath 2012 festival, I’ll be installed in the hack flash poetry booth in Queens Arcade. Pick a subject, pick a price, and I’ll write you a poem! All proceeds going to Llamau and the We Are Cardiff documentary film. More detailed info will be posted on this page as soon as I have it.

strongThe hack flash poetry booth
Friday 12 October 2012
Queens Arcade, Cardiff

Got a problem? Want some advice? Or just fancy a poem that was written just for you, about any subject of your choosing? Writer and community artist Helia Phoenix will be installed in the hack flash poetry booth to write you a personalised poem, solving your riddles through the medium of words. Yes – words.

How does it work? Pick a subject, pick your price, and Helia will serve you with some scribed poetic wisdom all of your own.

All proceeds are being donated to a href=”http://www.llamau.org.uk/”Llamau/a, a charity working to improve the lives of homeless young people and vulnerable women in south Wales, and also to the a href=”http://wearecardiffportraitofacity.wordpress.com”We Are Cardiff film/a, a documentary about alternative culture in Cardiff – arts, sports, sustainability and community.

We Are Cardiff shortlisted for Wales Blog Awards 2012

Yes, that is right – We Are Cardiff shortlisted for Best Community Blog for the third year running! (always the bridesmaid, never the bride). Also shortlisted for new category, Best Multimedia Blog, thanks in no small part to the small and growing army of photographers who take snaps for the website.

There’s a full blog about our shortlisting on the We Are Cardiff site here (including shouts to all the other great blogs that got shortlisted and links to our photographers). Go investigate: We Are Cardiff shortlisted for Wales Blog Awards 2012

Thank you Project Cardiff

I’ve been nominated as one of Project Cardiff’s 50 individuals from the local creative community who are contributing to the life and soul of Cardiff in some way. Thank you, Project Cardiff!

As part of the nomination I’ll have my photo taken (in a ‘proper in-door sit down’ shoot with photographer Lann Niziblian, who is a great photographer and has done some lovely shots for We Are Cardiff). You can read Lann’s thoughts about this insane attempt to take portrait photographs of 50 people and print the images in time for the exhibition in October on the Project Cardiff blog here.

More about Project Cardiff take from their website (I have nothing to do with the organisation of this project, by the way…!):

The cultural identity of Cardiff makes the city a great place to live. Project Cardiff seeks to celebrate this cultural identity by profiling those who are making a positive contribution to the life of the city and highlighting their endeavours. The project intends to provide a starting point for conversations about the way in which Cardiff’s identity has been developed through local innovators and activists.

Project Cardiff: will be a portfolio of 50 portraits of people who have been identified as those who make a contribution to the community of Wales’ capital city. For this inaugural instance of Project Cardiff we have cast our focus upon the city’s creative community.

Project Cardiff will be launched with a two week exhibition at The Senedd in Cardiff Bay from the 13 October – 2 November 2012 and then followed up with a month long exhibition at Milkwood Gallery in Roath during February 2012

Make sure you head down there to see it. It’ll have my mush in it, somewhere!