Southard Reid is pleased to present Hypercaust / Y Tyrrau Mawr (The Big Towers), by Bedwyr Williams.
Hypercaust (2017, digital video, 14 minutes, commissioned by Storyhouse Chester) recreates with historical accuracy the spaces of a Roman Legionary Bathhouse in Chester. The camera roams through the moonlit architecture, accompanied by a cinematic soundtrack and Williams reading, as one long saga, banal and petty tales extracted from archives of local newspapers.
Y Tyrrau Mawr / The Big Towers, (2015, digital video, 20 minutes) presents an imagined city, including identifiable buildings from existing city skylines, built incongruously into the Welsh landscape. The view of the shining city remains fixed, painting-like, changing only with the weather and as day turns to night. Willliams’ voiceover describes fictional stories of the construction of the city, along with anecdotal sketchings of the inhabitants inside its buildings. Personal detail and revealing incidentals mingle with wider suggestion of the socio-cultural structuring embedded within architectural and civic aspiration.
Bedwyr Williams (b. 1974, St. Asaph, Wales) works across video, installation, drawing, painting, sculpture and performance. Often layering verbal and visual, his practice is characterised by acute and wryly empathetic observation of human behaviour, situations and environments, physical and psychological.
Williams has exhibited widely within the UK and internationally. Recent solo shows include Adjunct Curator and Huuuuuuge Thanks!, Frutta, Glasgow and Rome, 2018 and 2017; ECHT, first exhibited at Tramway, Glasgow International, 2015, and 2017 at Fondazione Sandretto de Rebaudengo; The Gulch, Barbican Curve, (2016); Writ Stink, Limoncello, London (2015); representing Wales at the Venice Biennale 2013 with The Starry Messenger, later touring to The Whitworth, Manchester (2015); My Bad, IKON, Birmingham (2012). His work has been included in many institutional group shows including recently Knock, Knock, South London Gallery; Adapt to Survive, Hayward Gallery touring to Concrete, Dubai (2018), The Big Towers, ICA Singapore (2017); The British Art Show 8 (touring), Stress Field 4th Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts, Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan, China (2016). Y Tyrrau Mawr / The Big Towers was first shown at Artes Mundi 7, National Museum of Wales, in 2016.
Williams received the Derek Williams Trust Purchase Award in association with Artes Mundi in 2017. His work is in the British Council and Arts Council Collections, the Government Art Collection, UK, and the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.