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The Commissioner

Arts Council of Wales is the country’s funding and development agency for the arts. Its vision is of a creative Wales where the arts are central to the life of the nation and to ensure that the contribution of the arts is recognised, valued and celebrated.

Wales at the Venice Biennale of Art

Wales has shown as a Collateral Event at the Venice Biennale since 2003. Our presence at the Biennale gives a platform for visual art from Wales on the world’s most prestigious international stage. The Venice Biennale is critically important for the profile, reputation and future careers of artists selected to represent Wales and for the image of Wales as a country that seeks to promote its contemporary culture worldwide, distinguishing Wales' cultural profile with high quality art. The exhibition from Wales is commissioned and managed by Arts Council of Wales with support of grant in aid from the Welsh Government.

Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice works in co-operation with colleagues organising Scotland + Venice (Creative Scotland), and with British Council who present the British Pavilion and lead on valuable co-ordination of promotion of British and allied collateral exhibitions in Venice.

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g39_logo-web.jpg?mtime=20170505153724#asset:217g39 is an artist-led organisation based in Cardiff and is committed to the commissioning, development and presentation of contemporary art. Part gallery, part community and part resource, it has become an integral component of the UK artist-led scene, a hub for the country's creative community and a place for audiences to access contemporary art. Following relocation in 2011 g39 is one of the largest spaces for contemporary visual art in Wales. Its support and presentation of new work by contemporary artists is recognised as being a critical component of the cultural networks of Wales and the UK.

The Wales Artist Resource Programme (Warp) is part of g39's operation. Warp supports artistic practice with its programme of peer critique, artist-curator talks, workshops, seminars, mentoring, professional development and visits. Warp provides a critical and social network for a creative community within and beyond Wales.

The programme of g39 and Warp comprises a range of activities featuring artists from a variety of career stages and nationalities. Many artists who have been supported by g39 in the early stages of their career have gained significant reputations including James Richards, Heather Phillipson, Megan Broadmeadow, Sean Edwards, Kelly Best and Bedwyr Williams. g39 often works in collaboration with other galleries across the world to show Welsh artists abroad, as well as hosting co-curated exhibitions from other nations.

G39 leads the Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice Invigilator Plus training and programme of associated activity in Wales. The initiative brings together elements of their expertise in a way that we hope will significantly benefit artists and audiences at home and abroad.


royal-welsh-college-of-music-and-drama.png?mtime=20170505155555#asset:223The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (RWCMD) is the National Conservatoire of Wales, providing specialist practical and performance-based training that enables students to enter and influence the world of music, theatre and related professions.

The College has a key role in identifying and developing new talent and provides high quality training tailored to the demands of contemporary arts and creative industries. They train and educate some of the most talented students from around the world, aiming to give them not just the technical and craft skills they will need to operate at the top levels of the profession, but also to help them to discover and develop their individual artistic ‘voice’.

Facilitated by John Hardy, Head of Contemporary Music, Composition and Creative Music Technology, RWCMD students Kirsten Evans and Samuel Williams have worked closely with James Richards to contribute to his new electro-acoustic installation entitled ‘Migratory motor complex’.


Logo-NSSAW-web.jpg?mtime=20170505154006#asset:218The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales preserves and celebrates the nation’s sound and moving image heritage, making it accessible to a wide range of users for enjoyment and learning.

The Archive’s film and video collection includes all forms of the media, both professional and amateur – from drama and documentaries to educational and advertising films, from artists’ films to animation and home movies. The Archive, which is part of the National Library of Wales, has been recording television and radio programmes off-air from the main terrestrial broadcasters in Wales since the 1980s, creating an unrivalled collection which can be viewed onsite. In 2012 it acquired ITV Wales' film and video archive dating from 1958, which includes over 200,000 items, including hundreds of landmark programmes and pioneering broadcasts.

The sound collection includes all forms of recorded sound, extending from the early days of wax cylinder recordings to today’s digital creations, with recorded music, oral histories, lectures and many other types of recording held on formats such as shellac and vinyl records, reel to reel tape, audio cassettes and CDs.



Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years alone Art Fund has given £34 million to help museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections. It works with over 700 museums and galleries across the UK and helps museums share their collections with wider audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions, including ARTIST ROOMS, and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators.

Art Fund is independently funded, with the core of its income provided by 123,000 members who receive the National Art Pass and enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions. In addition to grant-giving, Art Fund’s support for museums includes the annual Art Fund Museum of the Year, a publications programme and a range of digital platforms.

This is the third year that Art Fund are supporting presentations from the Venice Biennale coming back to the UK.

The Team

The Commissioner’s team is:

  • Louise Wright, Lead Commissioner
  • Betsan Moses, Communications and PR
  • Cerys Thomas, Invigilation Programme
  • David Alston, Arts Director
  • Andrew Richards, Head of Business Development
  • Eleri Allsobrook, Project Support

Venue Management and permission service in Venice was provided by Paul Bradley, with local facilitation and translation by Barbara del Mercato

The commissioner would like to thank:

Stefano Pillinini and Paolo Dedè; Municipalita de Venezia, and Paolo Scibelli, Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia for their continued collaboration.

Chapter’s Exhibition Team is:

  • Hannah Firth, Project Director / Curator
  • Catherine Angle, Project Manager / Assistant Curator
  • Dean Woolford, Technical Manager
  • Richard Robinson, Technical Support
  • Freya Dooley, Project Assistant
  • Caitlin Davies, Project Support
  • Jamie Rees, Marketing and PR
  • Sharon Stone, Financial Management
  • Elaina Johnson, Fundraising and Development

Special acknowledgement from Chapter’s exhibition team is due to Toby Nelmes and Nelmes Design, Barbara del Mercato, Paul Bradley Studio, Chris Brown, Anthony Shapland, Samuel Hasler, Cinzia Mutigli, Matt Fitts and The Block, Martin Herbert, Chris McCormack, Steve Reinke, John Hardy, Kirsten Evans, Samuel Williams, Harry Greenaway, Ellen Smith, David Shepherd/Echidna Design, Louise Wright, Bestan Moses, Cerys Thomas, Rodeo, Cabinet, Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, HIT, SUTTON PR, Rachel Browning, Dafydd Frayling, Pete Goodridge, Art Works Exhibition Services Limited, Iwan Llwyd, Amy Roberts and Roger Graham.

Chapter also expresses gratitude for the expertise and guidance offered by the Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice Advisory Committee.