Arts Council Wales Portrait. Sean Edwards. © WALES NEWS SERVICE

We’ve got some exciting news from Wrexham’s new Markets, Community and Arts hub…

Tŷ Pawb has been just been announced as the Lead Organisation for Artist, Sean Edwards’ presentation for Wales in Venice 2019 at the 58th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale.

The Venice Biennale is one of the largest and most prestigious international art exhibitions in the world!

Wales in Venice has been a part of this Exhibition since 2003. It’s a chance to present the most exciting and creative artists associated with Wales to an international audience.

Wales in Venice 2019 is commissioned by Arts Council Wales and delivered by lead organisation Tŷ Pawb with guest Exhibition Director Marie-Anne McQuay and Assistant Curator Louise Hobson.

The presentation in Venice includes a co-production by National Theatre Wales and is supported by Bluecoat, Liverpool. Funders: Arts Council Wales, the Art Fund, Contemporary Arts Society Wales.

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Bringing international limelight to Wrexham

Sean Edwards’ presentation is curated by Marie-Anne McQuay, international curator and Head of Programme at Bluecoat, Liverpool, in partnership with Tŷ Pawb.

His work was selected following an open call for proposals in March 2018.

Jo Marsh, Arts Lead for Wrexham County Borough Council and Creative Director for Tŷ Pawb said: “It is a huge honour for Tŷ Pawb to have been announced as Lead Organisation for Wales in Venice 2019, this is a fantastic opportunity for the organisation and for Wrexham.

“Through working with Sean Edwards and Marie-Anne McQuay on this exciting project, we will be flying the flag for Welsh arts, and bringing an international limelight to Wrexham and Tŷ Pawb.

“As lead organisation Tŷ Pawb will have the chance to shape the delivery of both the exhibition and public programme, keeping our ethos of inclusivity at heart.”

A chance to see the work of an award winning Welsh artist

Sean Edwards’ 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.

Sean studied at the Cardiff School of Art & Design and the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Since then he has continually contributed to the development of the Welsh artistic landscape through his own artistic practice and through supporting the development of emerging artists. He is now a lecturer in Fine Art at Cardiff School of Art and Design.

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.

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

Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, Clr Hugh Jones, said: “To be raising the international profile of Tŷ Pawb so recently after opening is extremely significant, setting out our stall at such a prestigious event as the Venice Biennale.

“On behalf of the whole of Wrexham I would like to congratulate Sean Edwards for being selected. We are all looking forward to bringing his work back to Wales to be shown at Tŷ Pawb in 2020.”

An opportunity ‘beyond belief’

On being selected for Wales in Venice, Sean Edwards said: “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 section process is one thing in itself, to be able to do this under the banner of Wales in Venice is an opportunity almost beyond belief.”

Marie-Anne McQuay, International Curator and Head of Programme at Bluecoat, Liverpool said: “After a long and productive curator-artist relationship here at Bluecoat and previously at Spike Island I am so pleased to be working with Sean Edwards once more and this time on something as prestigious as Wales in Venice 2019.

“Edwards is one of Wales’ 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.”

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