Carys Tudor, Digital Curator: Art, Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales
9 February 2024

Artes Mundi 10: A new work for the Derek Williams Trust and Amgueddfa Cymru

Carys Tudor, Digital Curator: Art, Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales

9 February 2024 | Minute read

What is ‘Artes Mundi’?

Artes Mundi is the key internationally focused flagship visual arts organisation for Wales. Latin for ‘arts of the world’, the organisation’s name reflects their mission to create relationships to and provide a range of opportunities for audiences and communities to engage with current and urgent issues that resonate locally to internationally. While best known for its biennial exhibition and related prize, Artes Mundi additionally develops collaborations with a range of venues and cross-disciplinary partners from Cardiff, the UK and beyond, resulting in exhibitions and commissions, plus has programmes of co-creative partnerships with Wales-based communities.

Displacement / Distierro by Tania Bruguera (mudman / mud man) before opening of exhibition.
© ARS, NY and DACS, London 2024/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales

Where is the Artes Mundi 10 exhibition?

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Artes Mundi 10 exhibition (AM10) is presented for the first time in five venues across Wales including National Museum Cardiff and Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff; Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea; Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown; and Mostyn in Llandudno.

Which artists are exhibiting as part of Artes Mundi 10?

AM10 is a chance to see new and existing work of seven exciting international contemporary artists: Rushdi Anwar, Carolina Caycedo, Alia Farid, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Taloi Havini, Nguyễn Trinh Thi and Mounira Al Solh. Thematically connecting all five venues, work by these artists examines issues surrounding land, nationhood, contested territories and histories, environmental protest and impact, in particular within feminist contexts, and how these ideas challenge preconceived notions of identity and belonging. AM10 is made with Presenting Partner, the Bagri Foundation.

What is the connection between the Derek Williams Trust and Artes Mundi?

The Derek Williams Trust is one of the greatest supporters of contemporary art collecting at Amgueddfa Cymru. The Trust shows its support for contemporary international art through the Derek Williams Trust Artes Mundi Purchase Prize. The prize, which is in addition to the Artes Mundi Prize, supports a unique partnership between Amgueddfa Cymru and Artes Mundi. It offers the opportunity to collect contemporary international art and to place this within a Welsh context, giving the National Art Collection in Wales a narrative exploring our connections with the world around us.

Who are the previous winners of the Derek Williams Trust Artes Mundi Purchase Prize?

Snow White by Berni Searle
© Berni Searle/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales

The first winner of the Derek Williams Trust Artes Mundi Purchase Prize was Berni Searle with the work Snow White (2001). The powerful two screen moving image work explores how the social and political transmit to the body, particularly in relation to her upbringing in Apartheid-era South Africa. The work has been on display as part of AM10 at National Museum Cardiff.

Mauricio Dias and Walter Riedweg have been working together since 1993 and their work Throw is a single channel video work. It documents ‘the everyday rebellion of the little man’, as people in Helsinki were invited to throw all sorts of objects of their choice at a sheet of glass.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila takes the viewer on a journey in her video work The Hour of Prayer. The work tells the story of dealing with grief starting in a January storm in New York and ending in Benin, West Africa eleven months later. The work is based on Ahtila’s own life.

Lida Abdul’s video work Tree was awarded the Derek Williams Trust Artes Mundi Purchase Prize during Artes Mundi 3. Her work is a documentary that looks at young men discussing and reflecting on cutting down a tree and bearing fruit. In their discussion they explain that the tree represented the site of many hangings and that it had to be felled.

Also from Artes Mundi 3 in 2011, Mircea Cantor’s Diamond Corn is a sculpture made of glass crystal. In his work, Cantor encourages discussions surrounding immigration, identity and wealth as global issues, though our experiences are all different. The sculptural object, made out of a basic food stuff, looks at the inequality between the global north and global south, food poverty, and environment destruction for food production.

The Train by Olga Chernysheva 2003 on display in Artes Mundi 4
© Olga Chernysheva/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales

Olga Chernysheva is a Russian artist who works primarily with photography and film. The Train is possibly her best-known video work. A camera moves through a Moscow intercity train, catching snippets of the passengers: commuters, musicians and poets alike.

The Sky in a Room by artist Ragnar Kjartansson is a co-commission by Amgueddfa Cymru and Artes Mundi, and was first staged in 2018 at National Museum Cardiff. The piece has since evolved in subsequent iterations to involve a cast of singers and organists who throughout the day, perform Il Cielo In Una Stanza (The Sky in a Room) a famous Italian love song written by Gino Paoli in 1959. It was originally performed in the centre of the empty gallery at National Museum Cardiff by a solo performer, playing a chamber organ originally commissioned by the Welsh patron of the arts Sir Watkins William-Wynn in 1774.

Y Tyrra Mawr
© Bedwyr Williams/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales

On the slopes of Cader Idris, around the banks of Llyn Cau, sits a new city, and in Y Tyrrau Mawr a narrator tells us stories of the city’s formation and the ambition of its architect. Bedwyr Williams takes the birth of Richard Wilson’s 18th century landscape tradition to the extreme of a not-so-distant future. Williams explores national and international concerns around urbanisation and social engineering in contemporary cities.

Anna Boghiguian's installation, A Meteor Fell from the Sky was a new commission production for Artes Mundi 8 in 2018 which explores the steel industry in India and south Wales, largely from the perspective of workers and the struggle to establish their rights. Developed for two gallery spaces at National Museum Cardiff, the installation comprises sculpture, photography, drawing and painting.

The Close Observer
PACHPUTE, Prabhakar
© Courtesy of the artist and Experimenter, Kolkata/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales

The Close Observer and Rattling Knot are two large-scale unstretched canvas paintings that are displayed together on a painted mural background connecting and extending their compositions. They represent post-industrial landscapes, devoid of plants and trees and populated with hybrid human/machine figures and surrealist imagery. The artist Prabhakar Pachpute grew up in Chandrapur, central India, where three generations of his family worked in the region’s coal mines, showing his links to Wales through these post-industrial landscapes.

Who's been awarded the Derek Williams Trust Artes Mundi Prize for AM10?

Several pieces from the series In Love in Blood (2023) by Mounira Al Solh have been selected for the prize in 2024. The textile works are characteristic of Al Solh’s practice utilising embroidery and encompassing her interest in using storytelling and language in all its complexity, its nuance and shifts of meaning. The individual embroideries each illustrate one word from a list compiled by Ibn Qayyim El Jawziyya, a medieval Islamic theologian who lived in Damascus in the 13th century. This catalogues more than 50 ways of expressing love, based on the extent, the level, or the nuance of the emotion The collection of Arabic words includes affection, worship, passion, blood, nostalgia, grief and folly, amongst many others.

Since the very start with Berni Searle’s work, up to now with Mounira Al Solh, the prize has created the opportunity to collect international art that makes interesting and important links to and for the people of Wales, while sharing stories between Wales and the world around us.

Carys Tudor is Amgueddfa Cymru’s Digital Curator and has worked in the museum’s art department since 2021. With a background in communications, she is passionate about offering opportunities for all voices to share their knowledge and expertise, making all subjects relevant and engaging. Carys is also interested in depictions of recent social and industrial history through art.

Mounira Al Solh, In Love in Blood © Mounira Al Solh / Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales

Mounira Al Solh, In Love in Blood © Mounira Al Solh / Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales


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