Wales in Venice is excited to introduce the Invigilator Plus team of 18 artists, curators and students preparing to travel to support Sean Edwards’ Wales in Venice presentation at this year’s Venice Biennale.

Our lead invigilators, selected from nominations made by arts organisations from across Wales, are: Rachel Dunlop (Peak), Paul Heppell (Tŷ Pawb), Carlota Norbrega (g39), and Esyllt Lewis (The National Eisteddfod).

Caitlin Davies, Claire Francis, Laura Edmunds, Ffion Pritchard, Rebecca F Hardy, Dylan Edwards, Jenny Cashmore, have been selected through our open call.

Our student team members, appointed with University Partners, are:

Cardiff Metropolitan University: Gwenllian Llwyd, Charlotte Grayland and Heledd Evans

University of Wales Trinity St David: Melissa Rodrigues, Aimee Leigh James

Wrexham Glyndŵr University: Hannah Doran and Zoe Harty.

Background

Invigilator Plus provides important professional development opportunities by providing a chance for curators working in Wales and artists at the beginning of their careers to experience the Venice Biennale. It is managed by the Arts Council of Wales in partnership with 2019 lead organisation Tŷ Pawb, and the team has commissioned g39 in Cardiff to support the delivery of a training & mentoring programme. This supports peer review, access to creative networks and provides opportunities to discuss and share ideas about contemporary practice in Wales and internationally.

The story so far

During the training sessions in Tŷ Pawb earlier this February the group had a valuable opportunity to meet with artist Sean Edwards and learn more about his exhibition of new work to be housed in the beautiful former convent of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice. The artist will display a major new body of work that will focus on his interest in social class and the everyday, influenced by his own experience of growing up on a Cardiff council estate in the 1980s. The team also met with Jo Marsh, Creative Director of Tŷ Pawb, Curator, Marie-Anne McQuay as well as Assistant Curator Louise Hobson, who in 2015 participated in Invigilator Plus.

La Biennale di Venezia

The selected team of artists, curators, educators, writers and students will provide a vital role in supporting Sean Edwards’ Wales in Venice presentation. They will welcome visitors, introduce the work, care for the exhibition and also act as ambassadors for the visual arts in Wales. Each participant will spend at least a month in Venice and as part of the wider mentoring programme, will be supported to undertake their own research, or creative project.

Building on the success of the Higher Education partnership working with Cardiff School of Art & Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2017, this year we are delighted that Swansea College of Art at University of Wales Trinity St David and School of Creative Arts, Wrexham Glyndŵr University have joined the programme .

In another new development for 2019, visual arts organisations in Wales could nominate individuals who work, volunteer or intern to take part in the programme as lead invigilators. Peak, Crickhowell; g39, Cardiff; Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham and The National Eisteddfod are the organisations supporting our selected lead invigilators.