British Pavilion exhibition 2023 has been awarded a special mention for National Participation  

The curators, artists and commissioner have been awarded a Special Mention for National Participation at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Dancing Before the Moon features architectural-scale artworks – by artists Yussef Agbo-Ola, Mac Collins, Shawanda Corbett, Madhav Kidao and Sandra Poulson – and a new film, with a soundtrack devised by Oscar #Worldpeace and Fredwave. It explores how diaspora community rituals and cultural practices impact built space and how they can shape the future of UK architecture.

The Special Mention was awarded by the jury for ‘the curatorial strategy and design propositions celebrating the potency of everyday rituals as forms of resistance and spatial practices in diasporic communities.

'The British Council, curators and artists are overjoyed at the positive response we have received for Dancing Before the Moon, which has been praised by visitors as being at once thought-provoking, confident and uplifting. I am proud of and inspired by the work of this year’s exhibition, which encourages us to reflect on contemporary architecture and to think about how a diversity of voices can help us to create more inclusive and vibrant places. 

'This Special Mention for Dancing Before the Moon acknowledges the unique vision and immense energy which the artists and curators brought to the Biennale Architettura this year.'

Sevra Davis, Commissioner of the British Pavilion

'Our ambition was to make the British Pavilion a generous and uplifting place that reflects how a sentiment of care for people, materials and spaces can hold clues for how to build a better world – we hope in some way to have achieved that.' 

Curators Jayden Ali, Joseph Henry, Meneesha Kellay and Sumitra Upham

The British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion at the International Art and Architecture Exhibitions of La Biennale di Venezia since 1937, showcasing the best of the UK's artists, architects, designers and curators. These exhibitions, and the British Council’s Venice Fellowships initiative introduced in 2016, help make the British Pavilion a major platform for discussion about contemporary art and architecture.