5pm every day on the big screen at Storyhouse
Award-winning artist Bedwyr Williams’s new work for Storyhouse, Hypercaust is a computer-generated video piece which will bring back to life the Roman Fortress Bathhouse that once stood a short distance from Storyhouse. Now erased from Chester, the baths will be recreated through historically accurate 3D renderings. This mesmeric work will present a different kind of storyhouse, where Roman Legionaries would have chewed the fat, sharing yarns and secrets at the end of a long day, cloaked by steam.
The artist imagines the building empty of bathers on a moonlit night with the fires below still burning and steam rising above still baths. The narrator recalls stories but not those of Roman Chester but rather the stories of modern Chester: the recent folklore and tittle-tattle of this unusual city. Half remembered tales and shared anecdotes, the ordinary epic of petty crimes and misunderstandings strung together.
The artist used Chester’s public library now contained within Storyhouse, as a starting point to gather local yet curious stories for his film. The work will be realised with the assistance of local 3D animation company Take 27. Funded by Arts Council England and Cheshire West and Chester Council.
About the artist
Encompassing performance, sculpture, painting and video, award-winning artist Bedwyr Williams’s practice is characterised by his unique humour and gentle self-depreciation, both informed in part, by his upbringing in Wales. Drawing from his life experiences, Williams’ work, on the one hand, offers a sharp critique of our everyday world, and on the other a celebration of the obscure and overlooked.
Bedwyr Williams (b. 1974, St Asaph, Wales, based in Caernarfon) gained his BA at Central St Martins College of Art and Design (1997) and his MA at Ateliers Arnhem, NL (1999). He was awarded the Artes Mundi Derek WIlliams Trust Purchase Prize in 2016. Recent and forthcoming solo shows include Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, IT (2017); Barbican Curve Gallery, London, UK (2016); Limoncello, London, UK; The Whitworth, Manchester, UK; VISUAL, Carlow, IRL; g39, Cardiff, UK; Vestjyllands Kunstpavillion, DK (all 2015); Tramway, Glasgow, UK for Glasgow International; MOSTYN, Llandudno, UK (2014); Welsh Pavilion for 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, IT (2013); IKON, Birmingham, UK (2012); and Salzburg Kunstverein, AT (2011).
The aim of these commissions is to develop new time-based or digital artworks to premiere at Storyhouse. Working with artists who are seeking to challenge their current practices to produce a new works, Storyhouse seeks to foster ambition and experimentation at a pivotal point in an artist’s career.
Explore a programme of unique events in unexpected locations. Discover festivals, exhibitions and performances across Cheshire and Warrington in new settings to experience culture from a new slant. You will find the core programme of events below, for a full list of SLANT events, click here.