Residency with University of Cambridge Museums - Blog Post 1

Bedwyr Williams - October 2014


This is a bottle nosed whale that has been cocooned in wrapping whilst the Museum of Zoology (nice word stupid spelling) is re-developed. I think I would like it to be in my film in some way. I'm thinking about it being wrapped up while all around it is being changed like one of those awful TV home makeover shows except with the skeleton of a whale. I saw a lot of other specimens in storage boxes with useful little peep holes to see what was inside as if it was some kinky fur 'n feathers club. I'm not sure why but I feel a little excited for the animals and their new quarters.


In the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences storage building I saw these sand boxes with pencils sticking out of them. As an artist I feel that most of the questions I ask are stupid but I wanted to know what these were. The answer is that boxes of sand are used as a kind of granular third hand when inspecting and handling specimens - like a some kind of beachy mattress. The pens are just stuck in because it's handy. I would be worried in case I lost something in there.


This is wonderful (also at the Sedgwick Store).

IMG_5889.jpegThe Museum of Classical Archaeology is a strange marriage of content and building. The building reminds me of the kind of Leisure Centres that shot up all over Wales in the eighties. Blocks and iron and skylights. It's funny then that these casts look like they could be taking part in some games in their togas and sheets. An ancient Olympics with different scales and missing limbs. University people in modern garb sit amongst these amazing figures which is great except it would be even better if they were naked or at least draped.


Baboon Spitoon at the Fitzwilliam Museum.


This Painting, 'The Oak and the Reed' by Achille Michallon is in the Fitzwilliam Museum. These kind of fables or depictions of fables take me back to the Methodist chapel I went to as a child. Even thought Oak comes off worst I prefer it to the Reed as there's something heroic and noble about the way it's split. I hadn't noticed until now that there was a very small man in the bottom left hand corner. Scale-wise there is lot going on here.


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Bedwyr Williams

Encompassing performance, sculpture, painting and video, Bedwyr Williams’s practice is characterised by his unique humour and gentle self-depreciation, both informed in part, by his upbringing in Wales.


University of Cambridge Museums

Bedwyr Williams

April 2014 to March 2015


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