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A little cave that's a creative cocoon; MY FAVOURITE ROOM.

Byline: Sam Tegeltija

WHEN Justin Carroll decided to "give painting a go" and follow a long line of artists in his family, he needed a sanctuary to carry out his work. And boy did he deliver.

Inspired by his ill father who has since tragically passed away, the 46-year-old father of two set about constructing a building at the bottom of the garden of his semi-detached bungalow in Llandaff.

A friend had demolished a conservatory and artist Justin, a former aircraft design interior, had also dabbled in much larger construction jobs than this as a site engineer.

With a large pile of recycled wood and glass at his disposal, three months later his creative workshop was complete with a large glass front, sitting proudly at the bottom of his property.

He has lived in the Llandaff house for 10 years with his wife Megan, and two children Sam and Steffan.

Justin said: "I think of it as a creative cocoon I can slip into. It's a complete solitude where I can put my music on as loud as I want and get on with the work. It's a great little cave! "As much as my children like playing with the aerosol paints, they are of the age where they prefer to be out and about on their scooters and playing sport. My wife likes seeing the end product, but she doesn't often come to the workshop.

"It allows me to mix my family life with my work - I didn't want a studio miles away that I had to share with other artists. I'm also something of a night owl! I'm quite happy to be up at 3am painting!" Justin is now associated with the Abacus Gallery on Wood Street, Cardiff, while his collection of work has recently been taken on by the Grays Gallery in London.

Justin said this recent partnership in the UK capital has sparked big plans for his little retreat in Llandaff.

He added: "I've got one small section of the building as a storage room, and I'm now planning to knock through the wall and make the larger space bigger. I can utilise that space better.

"I've already made one change like this to the room. I originally built the building as one small part, and I immediately put an extension on it because it wasn't big enough.

"But I absolutely love the room.

The huge glass windows are brilliant, they let loads of light in. On a bright, summer's day the light is blazing in there."

And, in such a valued and wellused space, it comes as no surprise that Justin has his prized possessions.

He added: "I like my aerosol can collection! It's quite byig, I'd say 40 or 50 cans. But they keep disappearing as they are used. Another prized possession is my etching press, because my father built it before he died.

"I've also got some photographs of my grandfather up in the building, which mean a lot to me."


Artist Justin Carroll's favourite room is his self-built studio at the end of his garden. His three favorite items are <Bhis spray cans, an etching press and a photograph of his grandfather Richard Swingler

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 17, 2015
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