Exhibition image

Exhibition image

Cardiff artist’s Venice Biennale exhibition greets people back to the Senedd building

Published 16/07/2021   |   Last Updated 16/07/2021   |   Reading Time minutes

Cardiff-born artist, Sean Edwards’ experience of growing up in the city in the 1980s is the inspiration for an art exhibition which will welcome people back through the Senedd doors this summer.

The exhibition Undo Things Done, which opens on Monday 26 July, draws on Edwards’ experience of growing up on a council estate; 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. 

As part of the presentation in the Senedd, which includes Welsh quilts, prints, sculpture and film, the artist has reworked Refrain, a 2019 National Theatre Wales commissioned radio play which was written for and performed by Edward’s mother, Lily Edwards.

The exhibition will be at the Senedd from Monday 26 July until 5 September and people will need to book tickets in advance, through the Senedd website from Friday 16 July.

Five time slots will be offered for visits each weekday, with four slots on the weekend. This means that the Senedd building will be open to the public seven days a week for the first time since it was forced to close at the start of the first lockdown of the pandemic in March 2020.

Exhibition’s first visit to Cardiff hometown 

Undo This Done was commissioned by Arts Council of Wales on the occasion of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia - the largest visual arts exhibition in the world, with lead partner Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham and guest curator Marie-Anne McQuay.

This is the first time that the exhibition has been shown in the artist’s home town of Cardiff. It has also been staged at Tŷ Pawb in Wrexham and the Bluecoat in Liverpool.

Sean Edwards said:

"I am so pleased that finally Undo Things Done exhibition is able to return back to where it all started. It means a lot that the work that is so rooted to this location has its final presentation here and can be seen by a local audience, particularly at this time, and after the last year.

“And of course that my Mother can finally see it, who having had to perform from Cardiff during the Venice iteration of the show was unable to attend the installed exhibition. I hope that this final presentation in this place of political power and decision making can open up conversations about many of the issues the work addresses"

Senedd re-opening

On 29 June, the Senedd took the first steps in reopening to the public with the opening of the Viewing Gallery. People have been able to book a seat in the gallery to watch live debates taking place in the twice weekly Plenary meeting held in the debating chamber every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. These sessions have now come to an end as the Senedd enters a summer recess.

Hosting the Undo Things Done exhibition is a further re-opening of the building. This and any further activity will be kept under close review, in line with the latest guidance from Welsh Government and Public Health Wales.

In the interest of Covid safety, numbers to the exhibition will be limited to 15 people at a time and visitors will follow a one way system around the exhibition. Guidelines on maintaining social distancing and hygiene facilities and hand sanitisers are available throughout the building.

Whilst they are in the building people will also be able to see the Senedd’s debating chamber from the Viewing Gallery, learn about the Senedd building and function, and the café and shop will also be open.

For those who cannot come to the Senedd to see the exhibition, a video tour will be available on the Senedd website and social media platforms, alongside a 360 virtual tour which allows people all over the globe to explore the inside of the Senedd.

Tickets must be booked via Senedd website or contact line.