Arts Council of Wales | Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice
Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice

Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice

Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2015

...the rest is smoke

Helen Sear

9 May – 22 November 2015
Santa Maria Ausiliatrice

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. Wales’ first solo presentation by a female artist 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. Press and professional opening dates are 6 to 8 May 2015.

Press Release, 7 May 2015: Helen Sear…the rest is smoke

Experience Wales in Venice:


Helen Sear

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.

Santa Maria Ausiliatrice

The Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice exhibition will be presented for the third time at the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice. Helen Sear will present an entirely new body of work devised for the rooms of this historic and atmospheric building.

The Santa Maria Ausiliatrice is a former convent now used as a community centre. The spaces used by Wales comprise the former chapel as well as a complement of contemporary rooms.

Situated midway between the main Biennale Giardini and Arsenale sites Santa Maria Ausiliatrice is on Fondamenta San Gioacchino. Just off the wide Via Garibaldi it is very accessible and easy to find.

See here for opening times and how to get to the exhibition



Ffotogallery is the national development agency for photography and lens-based media in Wales. Its view is outward looking, with an exhibition programme featuring artists from Wales and the rest of the world. Ffotogallery seeks to widen its impact and influence through touring exhibitions, collaborations with other organisations and galleries, print and online publishing and an extensive education and outreach programme. Ffotogallery is a not for profit company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, in receipt of annual funding from Arts Council of Wales.

Venice Biennale

La Biennale di Venezia is the largest and most prestigious visual arts exhibition in the world. Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice is commissioned and managed by Arts Council of Wales and Wales Arts International with support and collaboration from the Welsh Government and British Council. It’s selected by a call for proposals.

Arts Council of Wales has commissioned artists to present at Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice as a Collateral Event at the Venice Biennale since 2003, celebrating the best of emerging and established artists from Wales. Previous artists include Bedwyr Williams, Tim Davies and John Cale.

The rationale for presenting in Venice and what we seek to achieve is reflected in the partnerships aims:

  • 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 presence at the Venice Biennale is underpinned by Arts Council of Wales with a core budget of £400,000 across two years to develop the project.

Helen Sear ... and the rest is smoke

Venice Biennale virtual learning resource for teachers and pupils

Our accompanying website offers a unique insight into …the rest is smoke exhibition from its development process and installation to the launch week itself.

Learn more about Experience Wales in Venice.


On the occasion of the exhibition a catalogue will be published documenting the new body of work, and providing a range of insights/perspectives on the development of Helen Sear’s practice, featuring new texts by: Professor Steven Connor and an introduction by David Drake, Director of Ffotogallery.

Exhibition Team

Project Director: David Drake (Director, Ffotogallery)
Curator: Stuart Cameron (independent curator and Director, Crescent Arts),
Assistant Curator/Project Manager: Kathryn Standing (independent curator)
Commissioner: Arts Council of Wales

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