Saffron Walden artist wins Italian award

PUBLISHED: 16:24 07 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:24 07 April 2016

Ian Wolter, who has won a prestigious Italian art prize

Ian Wolter, who has won a prestigious Italian art prize

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A Saffron Walden man has won a prestigious Italian art award for a hard-hitting performance piece about child abuse in the Catholic Church.

Ian Wolter, 49, of Freshwell Street, collected the Venice Arte Laguna video art and performance prize, along with a cheque for 7,000 Euros (£5,633) on March 19.

Mr Wolter’s choral piece, entitled The Holy See Gets It, was exhibited in Venice at the awards, and the work addresses the critical 2014 UN committee on the rights of the child report into the Vatican’s handling of the clerical sexual abuse of children.

The piece combines excerpts from the UN report with choral music in the tradition of the Catholic Church, and the choir was led by Sue Flynn, also from Saffron Walden, in the performance.

Mr Wolter, a businessman, graduated in fine art from Anglia Ruskin University in 2015 as a mature student says he was not expecting to win.

He said: “I was surprised and thrilled to win the Arte Laguna prize. I didn’t expect to, I was delighted just to be shortlisted and to have the chance to exhibit my work in Venice.

“The work challenges the institutional nature of large religions and the extent to which they have accepted what has happened; this problem does not only exist within the Catholic Church.”

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