Swiss in Wales

Almost a 1000 Swiss  have settled in Wales. Most of them live in the South, (in or near the two cities Cardiff and Swansea) some have settled in Pembrokeshire and  quite a number of Swiss live North Wales and along the Welsh border. 

Beatrice Schlegel

B.A. (hons.), M.A., MCIL

Beatrice is an Swiss experienced translator at BEATranslation Services, based in North Wales. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists. See her website and contact her here

Beatrice is also the co-ordinator of the North Wales Swiss Society. 


Viki (V) Metzler

is a Cartoonist, Painter, and Illustrator


Viki, you grew up in Zurich, now living in Wales. Tell me what brought you here?

• V: In my twenties, I did a postgraduate in Character Animation at Central Saint Martins in London. During that time I met my boy’s dad who later got a job in Wales and so we moved here in 2012. My mum is British, so as a kid we used to holiday in Wales…where my granny is from…its positively spooky I ended up living here!

How did you become interested in cartoons?

* V: Since I remember I drew, made and wrote stuff to express my self. My mum has a lot of Gary Larson and other Cartoon books which I love, so I guess it was exposure at a young age! After receiving an education as a nurse (a proper job as my parents put it) I worked 4 years as a mosaic maker in Zurich before I went to London to do a postgraduate in Character Animation at Central Saint Martins, as my love for drawing and cartooning won overhand. With life’s twists and turns I am so happy now to be doing what I do.

What are you working on currently?

* V: At the moment I am busy illustrating posters for one of TATA STEEL’s Trostre plant in Llanelli. They visualize the safety hazards for the workers on the plant in a cartoony, colorful way. And then I have 3 painting commissions waiting in the pipeline…all of them cartoony portraits which will be fun to do.

• What do you want to transmit to the spectator via your work?

* V: I would like to transmit awareness, humor, joy, beauty…put smiles on peoples faces..even if it’s just for a moment in our busy lives. If I can achieve that with my work then that would be wonderful. Whenever I am down for some reason, its often music, a cartoon, a painting, poem, book..basically some form of art… that lifts my spirit. With the cartoons, I can point out issues, visualize a thought, make people think…its a good tool for creating awareness, something I would like to do much more of.

Talking about spirit…where do you get your inspiration from?

* V: If I put my mind to some topic I usually get an idea pretty soon..I have no idea how that works. Sometimes ideas…especially for the paintings …just pop into my head. I have worked in so many jobs (as a Nurse, an Aid worker in Croatia, a German Teacher in the Czech Republic, Receptionist in a Privat Bank, Mosaik maker…then I had a dog walking business for 7 years in Central London. And then, of course, having my son. Throughout all I have done, I have always been doing cartoons besides that… because life, people, stories, music… everything is fantastically inspiring.


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