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Last Updated: Monday, 15 September, 2003, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
Shortlist for 40,000 Artes Mundi
Welsh artist Tim Davies
Tim Davies is the only finalist from the UK
A Welsh artist has been short listed for one of the biggest prizes in the art world.

Tim Davies, 43, from Swansea, is one of 10 international artists with a chance of taking the new Welsh-funded Artes Mundi Prize.

His work was selected from an entry of more than 350 artists from 55 countries.

At 40,000, the Artes Mundi (Arts of the World) prize is the biggest award to be offered to an individual artist.

It offers artists twice the sum given to the winner of the Turner Prize, and is paid for by a number of Welsh organisations, including the Arts Council of Wales, the Welsh Development Agency and the Welsh Assembly Government.

The short listed entries will go on show in National Museum and Gallery in Cardiff.

The prize was launched last October in a bid to help one of the assembly's ambitions to put Wales on the cultural map of the world.

It had been hoped it would be a significant contribution to help Cardiff's bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2008. That honour went to Liverpool in June.

Davies' art is known across the world.

His work - which is often shaped by environmental and political issues - has been exhibited in Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Australia and Central America.

But he says his Welsh roots are a key influence.

Tim - the only UK artist on the shortlist - felt honoured to be chosen in the biennial event.

"I am delighted. Having seen the list of short listed artists I feel really very good that I am seen within such strong competition."

The work of all the finalists will be on public display from February 2004 with the winner announced in March.

The other artists short listed are : Janine Antoni of New York, Jacqueline Fraser of New Zealand, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba of Vietnam, Lee Bul of Korea, Michal Rovner of New York and Israel, Berni Searle of South Africa, Fiona Tan of the Netherlands, Kara Walker of New York and Xu Bing, also of New York.

The selectors for the shortlist were Declan McGonagle, former director of the Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and Fumio Nanjo, an international Japanese curator.

Mr McGonagle said: "What struck us in researching for the shortlist was just how many contemporary artists are trying to reconnect art practice to what I would call 'life processes' and with the 'stuff' of humanity history, identity and memory, the body and communication.

"Artes Mundi is timely, therefore, in locating this pulse in the body of current art activity."

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