The Twentieth Century Society

C20 Society Murals Campaign

Close up of the Eye on Ray Howard Jones' mural for Western Mail's Former Office's, Cardiff, 1959
Ray Howard Jones' mural for Western Mail's Former Office's, Cardiff, 1959
Broken tiles from Ray Howard Jones' mural for Western Mail's Former Office's, Cardiff, 1959

29 Ray Howard Jones, An Eye for People, 1959

Owners: Unknown
Location: Western Mail's Former Office's, Thomson House, Cardiff, Wales

Ray Howard-Jones won a national competition held by the Western Mail in 1958 to embellish their new office building in Cardiff. Chiefly known as an impressionist neo-romantic landscape painter, she came up with a 10m high mosaic mural full of vibrant colours and imaginative patterns. Made and papered in Italy before being transferred to Wales, the mosaic represented a giant eye and evoked the role of the local newspaper in the region. For nearly 50 years the artwork, considered as one of the finest post-war mosaics in Britain adorned the building, until it was wantonly destroyed in 2008.  The society was too late to save it and its destruction is a tragic loss for the city. The only remaining mosaic from Ray Howard Jones is a strikingly designed altarpiece from 1955, surviving in Marchmont St. Giles’ Parish Church, Kilgraston Road, Edinburgh EH9 2DW.