Artes Mundi prize celebrates 20 year anniversary

The UK’s largest contemporary arts prize is marking the occasion with a showcase of art across five galleries in Wales

Artes Mundi 10 logo illuminated on the walls of Cardiff's National Museum
Artes Mundi 10 at Cardiff’s National Museum. Photo George Phillips

The Artes Mundi art exhibition, held every two years, returns to Cardiff and Wales for its 20th anniversary, with seven artists shortlisted for the £40,000 prize. For the first time ever, five venues across Wales will collaborate simultaneously, each showcasing artists’ work.

The exhibition champions artists from diverse backgrounds with important stories to tell. Artes Mundi director Nigel Prince promised viewers “a stimulating and thoughtful series of presentations” on topics such as displacement, environmental change and conflict. 

Artists were proposed via a world-wide nominator network and the final seven were selected by the AM10 jury. Shortlisted artist Carolina Caycedo said: “I like the fact … the presentations take place across Wales. The redistribution of funds and resources to smaller cultural institutions contributes to the diversification of the arts ecosystem, hopefully making it more inclusive.”

Artes Mundi is based in Cardiff, with each artist having at least one piece of work on display in the city. The event is taking place across Wales and aims to give people from across the country the chance to visit some of the art. It also provides much needed funding and awareness of smaller art galleries, at a time when the sector is facing many challenges. 

Art by Alia Farid on display at Cardiff's National Museum
Alia Farid’s work, on display at the National Museum, Cardiff. Photo George Phillips

The Arts Council of Wales recently announced £29.6m of funding for 81 organisations. Some in Cardiff will see a reduction in funding, with other local authorities in Wales receiving an increase. More than £10.5m will go to local venues, “bringing arts and creativity to the hearts of communities” said the Arts Council.

A record 139 applications were made, with more funding for Welsh language and culturally and ethnically diverse organisations. But not everyone can be funded, with some difficult decisions being made, the Arts Council said in its report.

Artes Mundi 10 runs until 25 February 2024.

National Museum, Cardiff – Mounira Al Solh, Rushdi Anwar, Alia Farid

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff – Nguyễn Trinh Thi, Taloi Havini, Carolina Caycedo, Naomi Rincón Gallardo

Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea – Nguyễn Trinh Thi 

Mostyn, Llandudno – Taloi Havini

Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown – Carolina Caycedo