Bedwyr Williams collaboration wins Derek Williams Trust Purchase Award at Artes Mundi 7

visual effects

It was announced last night that Bedwyr Williams’ Tyrrau Mawr, a 20 minute digital matte painting in 4k resolution that Bait Studio helped bring to life, was not chosen to receive the Artes Mundi 7 prize of £40,000, despite being tipped as the winner by the Guardian. The piece did win the Derek Williams Trust Purchase Award, which means that the National Museum Wales has bought the piece for their contemporary art collection.


Bedwyr Williams, 42, is an artist that uses multimedia, performance and text to explore the friction between ‘the deadly serious’ and ‘the banal’ aspects of modern life. He is known for satirising the relationship between artist and curator by creating absurd scenarios, but has recently explored themes of dystopia and mankind’s significance through videoTyrrau Mawr shows a futuristic city around Cader Idris, part of the Snowdonia National Park near Dolgellau, North Wales, and is inspired by a conversation the artist had with an architecture writer who had been to visit a city under construction in the Middle EastBait Studio stitched together high resolution stills taken at the mountain with building positions given by Williams, modelling the buildings and lighting to show the passage of time across the day and night. This produced a matte painting that was made to feel like a painter’s interpretation rather than a captured still.


Llyr Williams, Lead Visual Effects Artist on the project, explained the technical challenge Tyrrau Mawr presented: “The biggest challenge was handling the amount of rendering needed (4K x 20minutes). Rendering every single frame would have taken too long so elements were rendered at different frame rates then re-timed and blended in Nuke. The buildings, for example,  were rendered 1 out of every 48 frames because the lighting change was very gradual. Faster moving elements such as the lake were rendered at a higher frame rate. This saved days of rendering time and also helped with the slowly evolving matte painting feel of the final piece.”

Bedwyr Williams said, “I make art about people – this was never about the prize, but it was an opportunity to reach a new and different audience. Congratulations to John Akomfrah on winning and I look forward to seeing their next work.” His next solo show will be at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, in Turin, Italy.


For more information on Artes Mundi, the charity and the exhibition, you can visit their website


Bedwyr Williams’ Tyrrau Mawr, a 20 minute digital matte painting in 4K resolution that Bait Studio helped bring to life, won the Derek Williams Trust Purchase Award