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Bluecoat brings Wales in Venice to Liverpool

Bluecoat is delighted to be a partner in Wales in Venice 2019, the solo presentation by Cardiff based artist Sean Edwards at the 2019 Venice Biennale (11 May - 24 November 2019). Edward’s exhibition Undo Things Done, a poetic inquiry into place, politics and class intertwined with personal histories, has been guest curated by our Head of Programme Marie-Anne McQuay for lead organisation Ty Pawb, Wrexham. 

Key dates: 

Undo Things Done exhibition tour - opening Ty Pawb, Wrexham Friday 14 February 2020. Exhibition runs until Sunday 26 April 2020

Undo Things Done exhibition tour - opening Bluecoat, Liverpool Friday 6 November 2020. Exhibition runs until Sunday 14 March 2021

BBC Radio 4, Refrain broadcast UK wide 4pm Tuesday 17 December / 5pm Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, Castello in Venice

Edwards’ presentation Undo Things Done in Venice draws to a close with a special 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 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 John Norton and Martin Williams will present an adapted version of Refrain on Tuesday 17th December at 4pm (UK) with a simultaneous broadcast in the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice 5pm (Venice, Italy). This will be the first time Refrain will be heard across the wider UK, listened to in domestic spaces via radios at home, mirroring the living room where Lily Edwards reads daily. 

The exhibition Undo Things Done will tour first in to Ty Pawb, Wrexham February 2020 and then  on to Bluecoat November 2020 where Edwards will create a further iteration of Undo Things Done spanning Bluecoat’s four gallery spaces. In this Liverpool presentation, the artist will interweave new and older works that resonate with the same sense of autobiography in Undo Things Done.

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. His emotionally resonant body of work for Undo Things Done - film, sculptures, prints and Welsh quilts - will therefore expand and develop with the tour. 

Marie-Anne McQuay, Guest 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 Ty Pawb, Wrexham, Wales’s newest arts centre and 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 and wider partners. The Venice tour will be a cultural first for audiences in Wrexham and Liverpool.”

Refrain will be available to listen to on BBC Radio 4 at the following link, following its broadcast at 4pm on Tuesday 17th December.


Sean Edwards (b.1980, Cardiff) represents Wales in Venice 2019 on the occasion of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia with an acclaimed solo exhibition Undo Things Done.

Undo Things Done is presented by guest curator Marie-Anne McQuay together with lead organisation Ty Pawb and is commissioned by Arts Council of Wales, marking the ninth Biennale Arte presentation by Wales. National Theatre Wales are the co-producers of Refrain. The tour of Undo Things Done to Ty Pawb and Bluecoat is kindly supported by Art Fund and Colwinston Charitable Trust.

Image credits 

Top image: Refrain, production image featuring Lily Edwards and National Theatre Wales’ Hadley Taylor. Courtesy the artist Sean Edwards. Photograph by Adrian Sherratt;

Image below: Installation of Undo Things Done, 2019, Sean Edwards, © Jamie Woodley

Exhibition suppported by 

Cymru Yn Fenis Wales in Venice 

Arts Council of Wales 

Welsh Government 

Ty Pawb

Wrexham Country Borough Council 

Wales Art International 

British Council 

Art Fund


Cardif Metropolitan University 

Cardiff School of Art and Design 



Colwinston Charitable Trust 

Criw Celf 


National Theatre Wales 

Tanya Leighton 

University of Wales

Wrexham Glyndor University 



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