A street-art portrait of Queen unveiled in a cafe in Newport

A cafe in Newport has unveiled an impressive street art style portrait of the Queen ahead of the Platinum Jubilee.

Justine Desmond, who set up Coffeeology in Caerleon with her father Barry Desmond, commissioned artist Anthony Smith to paint the portrait of the Queen – which will now be silently auctioned to raise money for charity.

The cafe, which has seen a resurgence in popularity since opening in 2020, also enlisted the services of one of its regular customers, Wendy Gould, who provided the newspaper cutouts that also feature in the artwork.

“We wanted to do something that would involve the community,” Mr. Desmond said.

Anthony Smith, Wendy Gould and Justine Desmond.

“I think whether you are a royalist or not, there is no denying that the Queen has done quite an incredible service over the past 70 years.

“Wendy has been brilliant in her enthusiasm for this and we are really pleased with what Anthony has been able to create.”

Anthony Smith, who produces work under the title Consumersmith, has been involved in a wave of street art projects across the city, including the recent launch of ‘Art of Pill’.

“We wanted to create something different, maybe unconventional for the Jubilee,” Mr. Smith said.

“It’s designed to look like it was produced quite quickly – that’s definitely the effect I wanted to create.

“I’ve recently been involved in a few public art projects in Newport, most recently with the Tin-Shed Theatre.

South Wales Argus: Barry Desmond with the portrait. Barry Desmond with the portrait.

“It’s really good to see more art coming to town.”

Wendy Gould, who works at St David’s Hospice Care charity shop in Caerleon and contributed to the artwork, said: ‘I think whether you’re a Royalist or not, the Queen is an incredible woman.

“This work shines a light on his life of dedication – which was forced upon him at a very young age.

“I want to thank the entire Coffeeology team for developing such a friendly and lovely team. I’ve made new friends here and it’s my favorite place to go.”

Profits from the sale of the artwork will be split equally between Velindre and St David’s Hospice Care.

Coffeeology is also the first step on Newport City Council‘s Platinum Jubilee Beacon Trail – an augmented reality journey where players visit seven characters who have been brought to life from Buckingham Palace.

Cafe owner Justine Desmond said producing the artwork reflected Coffeeology’s desire to be a community center for Caerleon.

South Wales Argus: Coffeeology was an instant hit with the people of Caerleon. Coffeeology was an instant hit with the people of Caerleon.

“It’s more than just a local cafe here,” Ms Desmond said.

“We want to be a real hub for the community and also support local artists.

“My dad and I came up with the idea – we just wanted to provide a place where people can go for a good coffee.

“Before there was nowhere to go and do this in Caerleon, but now it’s great to see regulars coming and enjoying the place.”

Laura J. Boyer