Ireland at Venice

The Venice Biennale is a vital platform for Irish artists, curators and commissioners to gain international profile and to generate opportunities for them to present their work outside of Ireland. Irish artists Norah McGuinness and Nano Reid, were the first of many Irish artists to exhibit at the Venice Biennale in 1950.

Since 2005, national representation at the Venice Biennale has been an initiative of Culture Ireland, in partnership with the Arts Council.  Both partners consider the Venice Biennale a key international platform for the presentation of work and  an important opportunity for artists’ development and Irish curators to work in an international context.

Culture Ireland is responsible for the promotion of Irish arts and artists worldwide. Culture Ireland creates and supports opportunities for Irish artists and companies to present their work at strategic international showcases, festivals, venues and arts markets and support artists right across the creative spectrum including visual art, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera and film.

The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon was established in 1951 and for 60 years has been the statutory agency for funding, developing and promoting the arts in Ireland. It works in partnership with artists, arts organisations, public policy makers and others to build a central place for the arts in Irish life.

Previous artists who have represented Ireland at Venice include Sean Lynch, 2015; Richard Mosse, 2013; Corban Walker, 2011; Sarah Browne and Gareth Kennedy, 2009; Gerard Byrne, 2007; Stephen Brandes, Mark Garry, Ronan McCrea, Sarah Pierce, Isabel Nolan and Walker and Walker, 2005; and Katie Holten, 2003.

Please click here for further information about Ireland at Venice and previous artists.


“Culture Ireland supports Ireland’s representation at the Venice Biennale as it offers one of the most significant global platforms for contemporary visual arts. Ireland’s presence at the Venice Art Biennale dates back to 1950 when two female artists, Norah McGuinness and Nano Reid, became the first of the many Irish artists to present in Venice. For this, the 57th Venice Biennale, Ireland will again be represented with a newly commissioned work by a female artist, Jesse Jones. Jesse Jones has already developed a global reputation, through her work and studies abroad as well as through international exhibitions. It is hoped that the Venice Biennale will serve to highlight the work of this outstanding artist to a wide international audience, and that it will stimulate debate on issues of political and social relevance across the world.”

Christine Sisk, CEO Culture Ireland


“The Arts Council supports Ireland’s representation at the Venice Biennale as a way of supporting Ireland’s most significant artists to gain international development opportunities. Jesse Jones is currently one of Ireland’s leading artists and the Arts Council aims to further extend her international opportunities through the presentation of her work at Venice. The Arts Council will support an Irish tour of the exhibition following its Venice presentation, demonstrating its commitment to the public’s engagement with great art in Ireland.”

Orlaith McBride, Director, Arts Council of Ireland