Cardiff School of Art and Design’s students will again be helping invigilate at the Wales Pavilion as a part of the Arts Council of Wales Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice Invigilator Plus programme at the Venice Biennale. We’re especially thrilled that they’re taking part as the artist selected to represent Wales is CSAD Fine Art lecturer and alumni Sean Edwards.
As well as invigilating at Sean’s exhibition at the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice the students will also have time during their month long stay to develop their own artistic, writing and curatorial practice and research and immerse themselves in the Biennale, the world’s largest and most prestigious visual arts event.
Sean Edwards’s presentation is led by Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham and 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’s work also combines objects, film, video, photography, books and performance. Starting points are usually the things and places that have important personal connections and his exhibition at the Wales Pavilion 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.
Wales’s presence at Venice has been a vital part of the artistic calendar since 2003 and so we are excited to see how being a part of the Biennale impacts upon our students’ work and ideas. You’ll be able to follow their journeys through our news page here.
Click the student names below to read more about their practice and what they hope to get out of their time in Venice.
Tell me a little about yourself.I’m a student currently studying Masters in Fine Art in the school of art and design here in Cardiff. I’m originally from a small village called Talgarreg in the West of Wales where I grew up to love singing and performing on stages and competing in different local Eisteddfods. From a young age I’ve always had a passion for art making, exploring and travelling therefore, the opportunity to be in Venice for 5 weeks surrounded by art and art enthusiasts seems like a dream come true!
Tell me a little bit about your practice. My practice involves the exploration and the decline of small Welsh communities and it’s effect on the Welsh Language, mostly through the medium of film. I’m currently exploring a project regarding the sacrifice and suffrage Welsh female activists endured during the 1970’s to protect the Welsh Language by spending time in Holloway prison. I find it important to educate the public on this as the educational system does not provide this as it stands. My work uses archived letters, artefacts and press coverage throughout the same period, to create the medium through which I create with the intent to educate.
What are you looking forward to most about spending a month in Venice?I feel extremely grateful for this opportunity to be able to invigilate in Venice, but I’m mostly looking forward to meet all the other invigilators from all around the world. The chance to be able to discuss art with people from all different backgrounds and cultures will enrich my practice and help with the development of my projects. I’m looking forward to be able to engage in discussions with the public about the Welsh art scene and compare it with other countries. I’m also looking forward to eating my body weight in pizza, of course!
Tell me a little about your ideas for your personal project that you’ll develop while in Venice. The project I’m interested to explore while out in Venice will be to hopefully collaborate with invigilators from other countries to create a project exploring minority languages. As a first language Welsh speaker, this is something I’m extremely passionate about. Through film and sound works, I will delve into identity, culture and tradition by hopefully exploring languages such as Venetian, Catalan and many more.
Heledd C Evans
Tell me a little about yourself. I’m in my 3rd year of the Fine Art Degree, currently preparing for my end of year show. Music has always had a huge influence on my life, from learning the violin and listening to all sorts of music constantly growing up. When studying my art foundation my practice as an artist and a musician merged into one, leading to my practice based mainly in sound today.
Tell me a little bit about your practice.Sound plays a fundamental part in our everyday lives, yet rarely is it truly heard. As John Cage demonstrated in his 4;33, no environment is completely silent. This is the crux of my work. We are constantly surrounded by sound, and the sonic landscape of an environment plays a huge part in its’ character and our reception of it. I seek to enhance and respond to these sonic environments, altering our spaces and how we perceive them, using a combination of ambient noise, digital effects, and recorded violin.
I am also researching into art and the senses, how we interact with art and what this means for curation. This research, curation, and art writing are all key to my practice as well.
What are you looking forward to most about spending a month in Venice? Unless you work in a gallery there isn’t often the opportunity to spend such a long time with one piece, so I’m looking forward to spending a month with Sean Edwards’ work and seeing how that effects my understanding of it. There is of course all the other art to enjoy as well – I’m really excited for Edmund De Waal’s new exhibition ‘Psalm’ that’ll be on during the Biennale. I’m also going to try and eat at least one icecream per day to get that summer beach bod.
Tell me a little about your ideas for your personal project that you’ll develop while in Venice. I’ve always enjoyed art writing, but it has always been difficult to find the time to focus on and refine my writing skills. I hope to really hone my skills during my time in Venice, especially with all of the contemporary art from the world over around me to use as source material.
Tell me a little about yourself. Hi, I’m Charlotte and I’m currently in my first year studying Fine art at CSAD. As well as being a fine artist I am also a songwriter and am a keen lover of music, which is something I feel resonates with me my work.
Tell me a little bit about your practice. As a conceptual artist, my work discusses human behaviour and people’s interactions with each other and the outside world. I am also heavily inspired by beauty in the mundane, and I explore these themes through multiple disciplines (such as sculpture and film) to provoke discussion.
What are you looking forward to most about spending a month in Venice? I am really looking forward to seeing all of the international contemporary art that the biennale has to offer, and using my time working in the Welsh pavilion to meet and interact with people from all around the world. As well as the biennale itself I am really looking forward to living independently in a new city such as Venice, learning about it’s culture and history. They say a part of your heart always remains in Venice; and I want to find out why!
Tell me a little about your ideas for your personal project that you’ll develop while in
Venice. I am really interested in the gallery space itself and how people act and present themselves in this setting. I want to investigate their behaviours, recording quantitative and qualitative data, presenting this through creating artworks such as drawings, photographs and diary entries. I hope to use this data to start to see what actions I can make as an artist to disrupt this natural flow, or highlight these patterns. Recreating the gallery setting but making the audience the art.