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Wales in Venice 2015

Wales in Venice 2015

Helen Sear selected to represent Wales in solo presentation curated by Ffotogallery

Arts Council of Wales is delighted to announce that Helen Sear has been selected to represent Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale running from 9 May to 22 November 2015. Curated by Ffotogallery this will be the first time for Wales to present a solo exhibition by a female artist.

Known as one of Wales’ most significant contemporary artists, Helen Sear’s practice can be characterised by her exploration of the crossover between photography and fine art, her focus on the co-existence of the human, animal, and natural worlds.

With an exemplary track record for producing high quality, conceptually rigorous work, Helen Sear’s current work shows particular maturity and sophistication, seamlessly moving between expanded notions of photography, sculpture and video, with the artist exhibiting great command of different materials and production processes. These developments, coinciding with renewed interest in and critical acclaim for the artist’s work and profile internationally as well as in Wales, make this the perfect moment for Helen Sear to represent Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice.

Helen Sear’s photographic practice has developed from a fine art background in performance, film and installation work in the 1980s and she continues to explore ideas of vision, touch and the representation of the nature of experience, combining drawing, lens-based media and digital technologies. Her work challenges accepted notions of photography as a documentary and creative medium.

Wales’ first ever female solo exhibition in Venice is led by Ffotogallery; the national development agency for photography and lens-based media in Wales, who will be working with Stuart Cameron, curator of Helen Sear’s first major exhibition at Chapter, Cardiff and longstanding supporter of her work. He has worked with a number of major artists, within Wales and internationally, to develop new work, most recently The Art Party Conference 2013.

Louise Wright, Commissioner for Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice and Portfolio Manager for Visual Arts at the Arts Council of Wales said:

"We are very excited to be working with Helen Sear and Ffotogallery. Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2015 is a significant opportunity to develop and present new work at the world’s most prestigious international event for the Visual Arts."

Helen Sear said:

"Having lived and worked in Wales since 1984, the opportunity to be part of Wales in Venice has been an ambition of mine for several years. The photographic image in art practice has never been so diverse or contested, and, with the acceleration of new digital technologies, the material presence of the image is now more than ever at stake."

David Drake, Director Ffotogallery said:

"We are delighted with the news, for Ffotogallery has championed Helen Sear’s work over a number of years and witnessed many exciting developments in her practice. For Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2015 the artist will be creating a beguiling new body of work which is both rooted in the local and familiar landscapes of Wales, and also responding to the wider context of the Venice Biennale."

Wales’s presence at Venice has been a vital part of the artistic calendar ever since the country first burst onto the International Biennale’s scene in 2003 with the exhibition, Further. Since then the Biennale has provided a superb platform for visual art from Wales, strengthening its international profile and reflecting back into Wales through exhibition tours and related initiatives such as the Invigilator Plus programme, educational resources and talks.

For further information, please contact:

Siân James on 029 2044 1344 / 07812 801356 or email sian.james@artscouncilofwales.org.uk


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