This artwork is part of Ways of Seeing, a partnership between Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and the Government Art Collection. Ways of Seeing turns the borough into a gallery with 33 internationally renowned artists displayed in 28 unexpected locations.
Who is the man with a white beard and black robe pictured in this image, playing a musical instrument called a harp? Father Christmas on holiday? A wizard?
The man in the photograph is the artist, Bedwyr Williams. This photograph is called Bard Attitude. A long time ago, a ‘bard’ was someone who sang about real events, almost like a newsreader. Bards were important in the days before TV and Twitter.
Bedwyr pretends to be the last Welsh bard. In the 13th century, the English king Edward I invaded Wales and ordered all the bards to be killed. Bedwyr turns this tragic story into a funny one by dressing up in a beard and sandals.
Bedwyr Williams was born in North Wales. He studied art in London and Holland before returning to Wales, where he lives today. A lot of his art is about being Welsh and is often funny. His name is Welsh for ‘Bedivere’, the name of a knight in the famous legend of King Arthur.
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