Arts Council of Wales | Sean Edwards selected to represent Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2019.
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Sean Edwards selected to represent Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2019.

Arts Council of Wales is pleased to announce that Sean Edwards has been selected to represent Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice at the 58th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale, running from 11 May to 24 November 2019. 25 May 2018

Sean Edwards selected to represent Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2019.

The Venice Biennale is one of the largest and most prestigious art exhibitions in the world. Wales has been represented since 2003 and for Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2019, Sean Edwards’s presentation is led by Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham who will be working with international curator, Marie-Anne McQuay. This exhibition will be his most ambitious and emotionally resonant to date; a poetic enquiry into place, politics and class intertwined with personal histories.


Although known as a sculptor, Sean Edwards’s work also combines objects, film, video, photography, books and performance. Starting points are usually the things and places that have important personal connections. The artist’s proposal will see the creation of a major new body of work that will foreground his interest in social class and the everyday, influenced by his own experiences of growing up on a council estate on the outskirts of Cardiff in the 1980s.


Born in Cardiff in 1980, Sean Edwards graduated from Cardiff School of Art & Design before leaving to study at the Slade School of Fine Art. The artist then returned to Wales in 2005 where he has since contributed to the development of the Welsh artistic landscape through his own artistic practice and through supporting the development of emerging artists via artist-led space g39 and now as lecturer in Fine Art at Cardiff School of Art and Design.


Edwards has exhibited widely, nationally and internationally, and he is currently developing permanent public artworks with Future City, Cambridge and Studio Response, Cardiff. In 2014 he was awarded the Gold Medal in Fine Art at the National Eisteddfod and is also a former recipient of Arts Council of Wales’s Creative Wales Awards.


On being selected for Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice, Sean Edwards commented:
"I am delighted to have been selected to represent Wales in Venice. I look forward to working with the outstanding team at Tŷ Pawb, independent producer Louise Hobson and again with curator Marie-Anne McQuay. To have the opportunity to produce the exhibition I proposed during the selection process is one thing in itself, to be able to do this under the banner of Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice is an opportunity almost beyond belief."

Curator Marie-Anne McQuay, commented:
"After a long and productive curator-artist relationship here at Bluecoat, Liverpool's centre for the contemporary arts, and previously at Spike Island, Bristol, I am so pleased to be working with Sean Edwards once more and this time on something as prestigious as Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2019. Edwards is one of Wales's and the UK's leading artists under forty and I know that he will realise an exhibition which will resonate in the contemporary moment. Our enduring partnership with Tŷ Pawb will also give the project depth and reach within Wales and beyond."

Phil George, Chair of Arts Council of Wales said:
"Arts Council of Wales is absolutely delighted at the prospect of working with Sean Edwards on Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice 2019. Sean is a brilliant artist who will put Wales firmly on the map in this, the most prestigious of international festivals. His unique way of working will use provocations to examine themes that are important to him as an individual but that will also resonate with individuals and communities throughout Wales and the world."


The exhibition from Wales is commissioned and managed by Arts Council of Wales with support of grant in aid from the Welsh Government.

Registered Charity Number 1034245