Bedwyr Williams and the Starry Messenger
An Amateur Convention in consideration of Wales in Venice 2013 at St Fagans: National History Museum, Cardiff.
Friday March 15, 11am – 5pm
“The astronomer is stood in the window in a kind of half trance because he is getting a buzz from seeing his observatory with a starry night above it. So even though whilst he should be in there looking into the eyepiece breathing noisily through his nose chomping on the eyepiece with his baggy eye he’s actually getting some pleasure from looking at his hobby. The brochure he had thumbed for months showed a scene not unlike this. This man is observing his observatory”
Extract from, ‘The Astronomer’, by Bedwyr Williams, Performance Text, 2012.
Featuring Bedwyr Williams alongside other contributors, the Convention promises a great day of artistic interchange in a unique venue. Composed of talks, performances and film screenings that explore the relationship between stargazing and the home, the cosmos, the role of the amateur, this informal event poses crucial questions, such as:-
Why, through the ages, have we been so fascinated by the cosmos? How have we used it to learn more about our future and discover knowledge of our past? What does it mean to work as an amateur in a field filled with professionals? How much dust is in the universe? What does a shrivelled apple have to do with a 19th Century photograph of the moon? How is Terrazzo flooring made? And why do atoms jiggle?
Alongside Bedwyr Williams contributors include; Dr. Haley Gomez, Cardiff University, exploring her research into the role that Cosmic Dust plays in both hiding and revealing many of the cosmos’ secrets; Amateur Astronomer, Moelwyn Thomas will consider how astrophotography in the home has changed over the past 40 years; Artist Thomas Goddard delves into the archive of the Beast of Bala: and Daryl Green, St Andrews University, discusses Nasmyth and Carpenter’s extraordinary book, The Moon Considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite, that brought together two wonders of the 19th Century industrial imagination, astronomy and photography.
10.45 Arrivals (refreshments)
11.00 Introduction from the Chair, Russell Roberts
11.05 Bedwyr Williams, artist
11.35 Moelwyn Thomas, amateur astronomer
12.05 Phil Sheperdson, amateur astronomer (TBC)
13.00 Break for Lunch (not provided but there is a café at St Fagans)
14.00 Powers of Ten (TBC)
14.10 Tom Goddard, artist
14.30 Daryl Green, St Andrews University
15.30 Fern Thomas, artist (Performance)
15.40 Geraint Evans, artist
16.10 Dr. Haley Gomez, Director of the Observatory, Cardiff University
16.50 Discussion, Plenary and thanks
Convention Organiser: Sean Edwards
Convention organised with input, advice and support from Russell Roberts, Reader in Photography, University of Wales, Newport
Thanks to the National Museum Wales
The Convention is free admission but all spaces are now fully booked. If you would like to go onto the reserve list, download and complete the booking form and return to email@example.com with the subject line 'The Starry Messenger'.
Return transport from Cardiff centre to St Fagans will be available. Spaces are limited so must be booked in advance.
The daytime Convention will be followed in the evening by:
A Starry Comedy Night
featuring Bedwyr Williams and guests
Friday 15 March, 8pm till late at Porter's Cardiff, Harlech Court, Bute Terrace, Cardiff City Centre, CF10 2FE
A Starry Comedy Night is free admission but all spaces are now fully booked. If you would like to go onto the reserve list, download and complete the booking form and return to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line 'The Starry Messenger'.
About the artist
Bedwyr Williams was born in St Asaph, and lives and works in Caernarfon, North Wales. His comedic and poetic live performances and installations deal with Welshness, otherness and difference. Recent projects include My Bad – curated by IKON/Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, showing Ikon, Birmingham and Mission Gallery, Swansea 2012; Dear Both, Ceri Hand Gallery, and Curators Cadaver Cake performance, Frieze Projects in association with Grizedale Arts, Frieze Art Fair 2012. Bedwyr Williams is represented by Ceri Hand Gallery, London.
Bedwyr Williams, in a project jointly curated by MOSTYN and Oriel Davies, will be the artist to represent Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice 2013.
Bedwyr’s exhibition, The Starry Messenger, will show at the Ludoteca Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, Venice, 1 June - 24 November 2013.
The exhibition is commissioned and managed by Arts Council of Wales and Wales Arts International with support and collaboration from the Welsh Government and British Council.
Published 28 January 2013