Edmund de Waal
Photo: Tom Jamieson

Edmund de Waal

Set designer

Edmund de Waal (1964) is a British artist and writer. Much of his work is about the contingency of memory, breathing new life into particular histories of loss and exile. In his interventions and artworks, which he creates for various spaces and museums worldwide – including the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), and the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna) – he explores themes such as diaspora, memorial, materiality and the colour white. One of De Waal’s most recent projects is the two-part psalm, which he created for the Venice Art Biennale in 2019. The second part of this project – the library of exile – is his most ambitious work to date: a pavilion of two thousand books written by those forced to leave their own country or exiled within it.

As an author, De Waal is best known for his international bestseller The Hare with Amber Eyes. Other titles include The White Road, The Pot Book, 20th-Century Ceramics and Letters to Camondo, which was released in 2021. He has won several awards for his literary work, including the Ondaatje Prize from the Royal Society of Literature, the Costa Biography Award and the Windham-Campbell prize for non-fiction, which was presented to him in 2015 by Yale University. In 2011, De Waal was knighted in the Order of the British Empire for his services to the arts.