Dates of Refrain broadcast and Undo Things Done Tour
● BBC Radio 4, Refrain broadcast UK wide 4:00pm December 17
● Undo Things Done exhibition tour - opening Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham Friday 14 Feb 2020.
Exhibition runs until Sunday 26 April 2020
● Undo Things Done exhibition tour - opening Bluecoat, Liverpool Friday 6 Nov 2020.
Exhibition runs until Sunday 14 March 2021
Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice is delighted to announce the official closing event and touring dates for Sean Edwards’ solo exhibition Undo Things Done. A poetic inquiry into place, politics and class, intertwined with personal histories, this official Collateral presentation was commissioned by Arts Council of Wales on the occasion of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia with lead partner Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham and guest curator Marie-Anne McQuay.
Edwards draws to a close Undo Things Done in Venice with a broadcast that marks the last transmission of Refrain, a co-production with National Theatre Wales performed by the artist’s mother Lily Edwards. This radio play, which has been at the heart of the exhibition, has been performed daily during the Biennale, streamed from her flat in Cardiff to the Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice 2019 venue Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, Castello. Refrain weaves Lily Edwards’ biography, growing up in a Northern Irish Catholic Children’s Home and her subsequent life in Wales, with found materials and Sean Edwards’ memories from childhood.
A specially commissioned BBC Radio 4 broadcast produced by Martin Williams and John Norton will present an adapted version of Refrain at 4pm on December 17. This will be the first time Refrain will be heard across Wales and wider UK, listened to in domestic spaces via radios at home, mirroring the living room where Lily Edwards reads daily. Tŷ Pawb, the Wrexham-based lead arts organisation will also tune into the broadcast, hosting a community listening event.
The Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice 2019 exhibition Undo Things Done will tour first to Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham - a landmark moment for the organisation, which celebrates arts and culture alongside Wrexham’s rich market town heritage and was awarded the Gold Medal for Architecture at National Eisteddfod of Wales in 2019. The exhibition will be reconfigured from the very particular context of the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, where artworks were installed across the interlocking rooms of the former convent, now school and community centre. Undo Things Done takes as its starting point Edwards' experience of growing up on a council estate in Cardiff in the 1980s, capturing and translating what he calls a condition of 'not expecting much' into a shared visual language; one that evokes a way of living familiar to a great number of people.
In November 2020 the exhibition will then tour to Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice 2019 partner Bluecoat, Liverpool where Edwards will create a further iteration of Undo Things Done spanning Bluecoat’s four gallery spaces. In this presentation, the artist will interweave new and older works that resonate with the same sense of autobiography in Undo Things Done.
Edwards’ new emotionally resonant body of work for Undo Things Done - film, sculptures, prints and Welsh quilts - will therefore expand and develop with the tour. Known for his sculptural approach to the everyday, Edwards often begins with seemingly unrelated elements linked by autobiographical and cultural connections. Through investigative processes including time spent in local archives, museums and libraries, he gathers together images, stories, quotes, and clips. It is in the teasing out of these things in the studio, in isolating, abstracting, and bringing them together, that their political and formal resonance comes into play.
Sean Edwards, Artist representing Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice 2019 said: “I’m delighted that the work produced for Wales in Venice will have the opportunity to be experienced by audiences in Wales and that the adaptation of Refrain, a work that has been at the heart of the installation in Venice, will be broadcast into people homes. It is an honour to be able to present this work on BBC Radio 4, and marks a fitting culmination to my mother’s generous commitment to daily performances for the duration of the Biennale.”
Marie-Anne McQuay, Curator of Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice 2019 and Head of Programme at Bluecoat said: “We’re delighted to share the news of the tour across 2020-21 of Wales in Venice to Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham, Wales’s newest arts centre and to extend this partnership to Bluecoat, Liverpool, the UK’s oldest arts centre. The broadcast of Refrain simultaneously across the UK and in Venice allows for Lily Edwards’ voice to echo across borders and boundaries. Her incredible commitment to read live every day of the Biennale has given Sean Edwards’ exhibition a very special centre to the experience of Undo Things Done and would not have been possible without the support of National Theatre Wales and Arts Council of Wales.”
Jo Marsh, Creative Director of Tŷ Pawb, lead organisation for Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice 2019 said: "It has been a huge honour for Tŷ Pawb to be lead organisation for Wales in Venice this year, and we are looking forward to bringing Sean Edwards' moving and poignant exhibition to Wrexham next Spring. At the conclusion of the Venice exhibition in November, the live national radio broadcast of Refrain will be aired across our Market Hall - a hugely symbolic moment for us, connecting Tŷ Pawb to the presentation in Venice and creating a prelude to the exhibition for our local audiences."
Kully Thiarai, Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales co-producers of Refrain said: “Since May, Lily has been broadcasting to Venice live from her home in Cardiff every day, captivating thousands of visitors to her son’s exhibition at the Biennale. Throughout that time she has truly become part of the National Theatre Wales family and we are thrilled that her voice will now be heard back home in this special broadcast on BBC Radio 4."