‘Hypercaust’ historically accurately recreates the spaces of a Roman Fortress Bathhouse in Chester, the remains of which were unearthed and erased during the 1960s. The title ‘Hypercaust’ refers to the Roman underfloor heating system that pumped hot air from a furnace via a series of underfloor channels. Williams imagines the Bathhouse empty of bathers on a moonlit night with the fires below still burning and steam rising above still baths. A narrator recalls non-linear stories and anecdotes of modern Chester, collected by Williams from local newspapers and archives. This juxtaposition of place and narrative creates a space that is out of time.
‘Hypercaust’ was made possible by the generous support of Arts Council England, Cheshire West and Chester Council.
‘Hypercaust’ was commissioned and first exhibited at Storyhouse, Chester in 2017.
Bedwyr Williams’ Screening series continues online with:
Tyrrau Mawr (2016) 25 June – 9 July