Arts Council of Wales | Wales at the Venice Biennale of Art
Back to all news

Wales at the Venice Biennale of Art

Tim Davies will be making new work for this exhibition, but the exhibition will reflect other notable work made in Wales and in European and global contexts in recent years. 30 Jul 2010

Tim Davies

Tim DaviesTim was the winner of the Fine Art Gold Medal at the National Eisteddfod in 2003 and was selected for Artes Mundi 1 in 2004. In 2008 he was a Major Creative Wales Award recipient from Arts Council of Wales. He recently completed a commissioned piece entitled Kilkenny Shift in Ireland and the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery curated an exhibition of this piece and new work in 2009. The artist will be showing at Mostyn in September where he features in the inaugural opening year’s programme of the newly re-furbished and extended gallery in Llandudno.

Tom Rowland, who has assembled an experienced team to support Tim Davies’s Biennale project, and who will curate the exhibition, is a long-standing collaborator and has featured Tim Davies’s work in London gallery showings in recent years.

"Tim Davies’ work makes a huge visual impact, and is admired for its ability to distil conceptual concerns with formal cohesion, in whichever medium he chooses for his pieces. He is a unique and committed artist who stands alone with his consistently robust installations, films and works on paper. Tim proposes to produce a unique exhibition for the Welsh Pavilion. He is able to react collaboratively with a given space and together we aim to design a show both visually stirring and professionally constructed."

David Alston, Arts Director for the Arts Council of Wales thanked the Advisory Committee which helps shape Wales’s presence at this major international visual arts platform every two years in Venice.

"We opened up discussion about what would be important for Wales to do next in the Biennale by putting out a call to the visual arts sector in Wales. The Advisory Committee initially sifted just over thirty proposals, some clearly speculative but with a core of propositions which needed rigorous debate before we could arrive at a shortlist. We then asked that shortlist who all offered differing possibilities for this showcase, to think some more. There are a welter of factors which ultimately determine eventual choice but ultimately it is a call about what will make for a memorable presence of Wales in the clamour of the Venice Biennale, and how that exhibition reflects back into Wales. One of the reasons it is important for Wales to be at Venice is to continue to draw attention to the broader picture of art from Wales. All those additional aspects of the exhibition, are important as well as creating obviously the best circumstances for Tim Davies to achieve the work he wants to. As with our previous exhibitions we look forward to partnering with colleagues in Scotland, and the British pavilion presence organised by the British Council."

Dai Smith Chair of the Arts Council commented:

"This will only be the 5th exhibition from Wales in this foremost international arena for the visual arts. Each one has had impact and demonstrated both distinctiveness and an ability to engage at the highest level in the now globalised visual art world. In a devolved Wales and even one facing enormous constraints, it will continue to be vital that the country’s creativity continues to register on the world stage."


For further information, please contact David Alston, Arts Director, Arts Council of Wales:

Learn more about Wales at the Venice Biennale of Art.

Notes to Editors:

On the Biennale

The Venice Biennale was inaugurated over a hundred years ago in 1895 as an international art exhibition and came to be based on the idea of national pavilions.

The 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale will take place in 2011, directed by the art historian and critic Bice Curiger: - Preview: 1-2-3 June 2011 - Official Opening: 3 June 2011 - Opening to the public: 4 June > 27 November 2011

On Wales at Venice at the Biennale:

Wales at Venice will be in its 5th Biennale year in 2011. Previous artists representing Wales include, John Cale (2009), Richard Deacon, Merlin James, Heather & Ivan Morison,(2007 )Peter Finnemore (2005), Bethan Huws, Cerith Wynn Evans (2003). The Biennale enhanced these artists' international profile and has showcased outstanding work from Wales.

This opportunity remains the prime international context for contemporary art and raises Wales' cultural profile as a place for many emerging and highly respected artists.

The goals of being at the Venice Biennale are defined by Arts Council of Wales as:

  • Offering career opportunities at significant junctures for participants
  • Attracting and focusing attention and debate about art in and from Wales, deepening critical discourse
  • Giving experiences, aspiration and context to artists in early career (through experience of the Biennale, invigilator programmes, live guides, education work and networking possibilities)
  • Focusing curatorial interest on the art being produced in Wales, leading to greater exposure of artists from Wales
  • Supporting the developmental context for other gallery enterprises in Wales
  • Celebrating the diverse and critically valued work of artists associated with Wales
On the Advisory Committee and the shortlisted proposals:

The members of the Advisory Committee which worked with the Arts Director, David Alston and Senior Visual Arts Officer, Lindsay Hughes on the selection of Wales’s exhibition for 2011, were Cath Sherrell, (Aberystwyth Arts Centre) Chris Coppock (curator) Emrys Williams (artist) and Benjamin Ward (press and media specialist), chaired by Norah Campbell (Council Member). Louise Wright from the British Council also participated as an observer.

The call to the visual arts sector elicited 31 proposals which were refined to a shortlist of three with a commentary

The Advisory Committee felt that the three projects under discussion at the shortlist stage offered distinctive features as exhibition proposals. Tim Davies was selected. The other two proposals were:

S.Mark Gubb , who has recently chosen to base his career back in Wales and who has an impressive recent project and exhibition history. The artist was proposed in a very professional submission co-ordinated by Ceri Hand Gallery Liverpool.

An imaginative and powerful environmental sculptural project Sal Venezia was proposed by a South Wales based artists’ collective New British Art.

Registered Charity Number 1034245