Arts Council of Wales | Call for Proposals: Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2015
Call for Proposals: Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2015

Call for Proposals: Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2015

The Arts Council announces the search for how Wales will participate in the 2015 Art Biennale in Venice.

2013 marked the 6th exhibition and 10 years since Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice’s first presence at the prestigious Art Biennale in Venice.

Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice is a partnership between Arts Council of Wales (the Commissioner) and the organisation/s selected to deliver the presentation.

Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice is now at a turning point following 2013. We must continue to evolve and rise to the challenge and opportunities of the ever expanding Venice Biennale. We must question what Wales’s presentation could be in 2015 in the context of current practice, connections, experience and our ambitions for the visuals arts in Wales. Consideration must also be given to Wales’s response to the Venice Biennale in recent years and its position at one of the most prestigious international platforms for the Visual Arts.

The rationale for presenting in Venice and what we seek to achieve is reflected in the partnerships aims established by Arts Council of Wales:

  • Present the most exciting and creative artists associated with Wales.
  • Focus international and national attention on the diverse range of critically valued work in, from and to do with Wales.
  • Create international experiences and connections for galleries, curators and artists that will develop the visuals arts in Wales.
  • Celebrate Wales in the World as dynamic, culturally engaged and forward-looking.

The Advisory Committee which oversees Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice have met with VAGW (Visual Arts Group Wales) to discuss the proposition for developing 2015. We aim to build on the achievements and learn from the challenges of 2013 and to explore new approaches and fresh perspectives in the context of Wales’s commitment to the Venice Biennale since 2003.

The open call for proposals, restricted to member organisations of VAGW was first introduced to deliver the 2013 presentation. This approach attracted high quality, ambitious and imaginative proposals from experienced curators and teams and has proved to be an effective route to determine the presentation. Arts Council of Wales has agreed to continue in this manner, inviting VAGW members to submit proposals for 2015. Arts Council of Wales views this approach as having the potential to build capacity for the visual arts in Wales through the gallery and artists network they are involved in.

Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2015 creates an opportunity for VAGW members to activate their networks to consider and debate the challenges and opportunities that Venice and the wider context of the Biennale presents to artists, organisations and the sector in Wales.

The Advisory Committee is looking for proposals that are collaborative and will build partnerships and opportunities for the project in 2015. It is a key requirement that submissions are led by a member of VAGW. However partnerships may include Academic Institutions, commercial galleries, producing agencies or international partners and collaborators. Collaborations could be curatorial or artistic or focus on delivery and partners do not have to be based in Wales.

We are seeking proposals from teams that meet the selection criteria and demonstrate they have the skills and experience to create an exceptional project for 2015. VAGW members have indicated an openness to canvas appropriate ideas for this international platform for the visual arts and Wales’s presence in the Biennale and to pursue approaches to firm up proposals.

The criteria which an exhibition proposal needs to fulfil for Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2015 are :

a) To celebrate the diverse and critically valued work of artists associated with Wales;

b) Offer career opportunities at a significant juncture for participants;

c) Attract and focus attention and debate about art in, from and to do with Wales to deepen critical discourse nationally and internationally;

d) Focus curatorial interest on art being produced in Wales, leading to greater exposure of artists from Wales;

Additionally the proposal will:

e) Give experiences, aspiration and context to artists in early career (through experience of the Biennale, invigilator programmes, live guides, education work and networking possibilities);

f) Support the developmental context for gallery enterprises in Wales;

g) Promote Wales’s visual culture to the Welsh public, pointing up the value of placing contemporary Welsh art in an international context and ensuring the dissemination of the Wales presence in Venice either through a complementary exhibition or other allied activity.

The deliberations of the Advisory Committee for Wales at the Venice Biennale will exclusively determine the choice of presentation for 2015. A decision meeting of the Advisory Committee will take place in May 2014. The decision will be announced in June 2014.

The call for proposals opened on 5 March 2014.

The deadline to receive proposals is 12.00 midday on Monday 28 April 2014.

For further information please contact The Commissioner of the Exhibition, Louise Wright, Portfolio Manager Visual and Applied Arts and Crafts, Arts Council of Wales.

pdf - logo smallOr, download the full details in the document : Call for Proposals: Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2015


VAGW is the Professional Association for the venues and organisations in Wales that both produce and present contemporary visual arts. VAGW exists collectively to further the conditions in which a dynamic and successful visual arts sector can thrive in Wales. It’s members represent galleries in the funded sector, including those from the Arts Council of Wales Portfolio of Revenue Funded Organisations (RFOs) and those funded through a combination of Local Authority and project specific Lottery Funding.

Its membership comprises:

Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Artes Mundi, bloc, Cardiff Council, Chapter, Craft in the Bay, National Eisteddfod, Ffotogallery, g39, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Mission Gallery, MOSTYN, National Museum Wales, Oriel Davies Gallery, Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Plas Glyn y Weddw, Ruthin Craft Centre and Oriel Wrecsam.

The Advisory Committee for Cymru yn Fenis is comprised of:

  • Kate Woodward (Chair) (Council Member),
  • Osi Rhys Osmond (Council Member and Chair 2011/13),
  • Ann Jones (National Adviser)
  • Mike Tooby (National Adviser)
  • Ben Borthwick (National Adviser),
  • Nick Thornton (Amgueddfa Cymru /National Museum Wales),
  • Karen Mackinnon (Artes Mundi)
  • Dan Thomas (British Council Observer)

Arts Council Officers:

  • David Alston (Arts Director)
  • Louise Wright (Commissioner Cymru yn Fenis /Wales in Venice) (Portfolio Manager)
  • Eluned Haf (Head Wales Arts International)

With representation on the Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice Advisory Committee, in order to build links between the institutions and organisations and international presence for the visual arts in Wales, National Museum Wales and Artes Mundi are excluded from putting forward proposals.

Call for Proposals: Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2015
Wales in Venice 2013

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