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In the studio with… Bedwyr Williams

18 May 2021

The Welsh artist Bedwyr Williams is known for the surreal and often darkly funny worlds he creates – in performances, films, installations and other media. Since 2018 he has also turned his attention to a non-fictional landscape: what he calls the ‘fascinating circus’ of the contemporary art world. A selection of his satirical drawings, originally posted on Instagram, will be displayed in ‘Bedwyr Williams: Milquetoast’ at Southwark Park Galleries in London (19 May–11 July; then touring to Wrexham and Aberystwyth). Williams is also currently working on a book and film project responding to the collection of the Science Museum Group, which will go on view at the new publicly accessible national collections centre in Wiltshire when it opens in 2024.

Where is your studio? 
My studio is not far from Llanberis in North Wales.

What do you like most about the space?
I can see Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) out of the window if I sit in the right place – as well as Mynydd Perfedd (Intestine Mountain), Carnedd y Filiast (Greyhound Bitch Mountain) and Elidir Fawr.

What frustrates you about it?
The ceiling height – and that there’s a playground nearby. While I like the sounds of kids playing in moderation, I’m not so keen on the screaming thing some children do.

Untitled Instagram Drawing (2020), Bedwyr Williams.

Untitled Instagram Drawing (2020), Bedwyr Williams. © Bedwyr Williams

Do you work alone?
In the studio, yes. But I collaborate with a few different people depending on what I’m working on. I can’t imagine having someone in the studio.

How messy is your studio?
Brexit messy.

What’s the weirdest object in there?
My daughter stuck some granite chippings on an old wooden date box with a glue gun. That’s quite weird.

Untitled Instagram Drawing (2020), Bedwyr Williams.

Untitled Instagram Drawing (2020), Bedwyr Williams. © Bedwyr Williams

Which artistic tool could you least do without?
My iPad and Apple Pencil, and a Kuretake brush pen.

What’s the most well-thumbed book in your studio?
I don’t think there is one. I’m thumbing the amazing BANK Fax-Bak Service at the moment.

Do you cook in the studio?
It’s not that kind of studio and I’m not that kind of artist.

What do you listen to while you’re working?
I’ve been listening to the soundtrack from Chernobyl, and also The Duritti Column.

Do you ever sleep in your studio?
In the afternoon I sleep on the floor, sometimes with a soft shoe under my head. From outside, it must look like I’ve collapsed.

Is anything (or anyone) banned from your studio?
Apart from burglars, everyone’s welcome.

‘Bedwyr Williams: Milquetoast’ is at Southwark Park Galleries, London, until 11 July.