For the first time, National Museum Cardiff has invited a diverse group of people – those who have experienced homelessness – to select art, from The Derek Williams Trust, and co-curate a unique exhibition.

Who Decides?, a brand new contemporary art exhibition, will open its doors on Saturday 28 October at the National Museum Cardiff.

The exhibition, in collaboration with The Wallich and The Derek Williams Trust, will run until 2 September 2018.

National Museum Cardiff has sought to involve more people in their collections.

In its first external curation, the Museum invited representatives from The Wallich – many of whom have been homeless – to select art for an intriguing and varied exhibition.

Sian David, Head of Participation and Progression at The Wallich said:

“The narrative ‘art is for everyone’ sits perfectly with The Wallich. We go beyond getting people off the streets. We try to give our clients rich experiences and create exciting and innovative opportunities that are out of the ordinary.”

As they pondered over elements from beauty to brush-strokes, service users from The Wallich, such as Ian Harris, have been documenting their experience of selecting art for the exhibition.

Ian sang the praises of the project:

“I have taken great pride in my contribution to this exhibition and cannot wait until it is up and running.

“The majority of the works have been chosen by our team to be displayed. We have, however, been able to choose an individual piece to be displayed.”

The works featured in Who Decides? have been selected from the hundreds of paintings, drawings, sculptures, films, prints and installations that the Museum and The Derek Williams Trust have acquired in the last 10 years. It also celebrates the 25-year partnership between Amgueddfa Cymru and The Derek Williams Trust.

Grace Todd from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Cardiff said:

“The collections that we hold belong to us all, but only a small number of people are empowered to make decisions about how museums decide what to show, what is collected and how it is represented. Is this fair?

“By making our collection more accessible to all, Who Decides? aims to create a more democratic and accountable Museum.”

Sian David agreed with the sentiment and continued:

“Many of the museum project’s participants have experienced hardship, but they’re on new paths to improving their lives.

“We hope to continue making partnerships with cultural organisations, like Amgueddfa Cymru, to boost the skills, confidence and, ultimately, happiness of our clients.”

Michael Pugh, another of The Wallich’s curators, confirmed the importance of Who Decides? in encouraging wider participation in culture:

“I wouldn’t have come in to the museum before but now I’m here and I’ve loved it all. I’m not afraid to come here by myself, I’m not daunted anymore”.

The Who Decides? Exhibition, in association with The Wallich and The Derek Williams Trust, will take place between 28 October 2017 – 2 September 2018 at the National Museum Cardiff. Admission is FREE.

For more information, visit The Wallich’s Museum Project pages.