by Rhian Sullivan
New Fine Art graduate Rhian Sullivan is one of the CSAD participants in the Wales in Venice Invigilation Plus programme organised by the Arts Council of Wales. As well as invigilating at James Richards’ exhibition at the Wales Pavilion Rhian has been taking time to develop her own work and ideas and to visit the Venice Biennale’s other exhibitions. Here are her thoughts on the British Pavilion at the Biennale’s Giardini site:-
Before visiting I wasn’t extremely excited about Phyllida Barlow’s exhibition. Some of this was due to frustration with the interview that the BBC aired following her announcement as GB’s artist. The interviewer seemed more like a fan gushing and a lot of the questions focused on motherhood as opposed addressing her reaction to the recognition that comes with being nominated for this global event.
The work’s scale was amazing. Someone I had discussed it with, prior to viewing, likened the initial pillars that you see to the pillars at the Luxor Temple…. viewing it myself I completely understood. The bulbous forms were like the bellied pillars and the scale was so close. What I really enjoyed and think I see in my own practice is a pride in the materials – the way the work’s build was on show and there being no secrecy in how the work was created. It’s open and accessible, you have the opportunity to decipher how it’s grown.