Venice Diaries: Efflorescence / Subflorescence by Gweni Llwyd

Gweni Llwyd is CSAD’s final new graduate taking part in the Arts Council of Wales Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice Invigilator Plus programme, invigilating James Richards’ exhibit at the Wales Pavilion.

‘Salt is rotting the walls, eating the bricks, leaving a dusty residue on the terazzo and marble.

‘The foundations of Venetian buildings are immersed in sea water, causing a permanent capillary rise. Sea water is being constantly drunk by the buildings. The sulphate from the water attacks and cracks the mortar, the sodium chloride crystallises within stoney surfaces, causing a crunchy coating as soon as the water evaporates. The only way to prevent this is to completely stop the capillary rise, done so using a chemical or mechanical barrier.

‘I can’t help but compare the salt coated walls to a skin condition, a psoriasis or an eczema, a deterioration, a flaking of the surface. The building’s with poison running through their capillaries and clinging onto their skin. Or maybe James Richards’ ‘Rushes Minotaur’ has had too much of an effect…’

Gweni is also one of the School’s ABF Step Change Fellows and will be spending the coming year developing her creative practice with support from the ABF and Cardiff Met.