Philip Bedwell featuring Noëmi Lakmaier / Purgation

Through ritual I question authority, social value and love – What have we been conditioned to accept? And what are we prepared to question?

“I am a London based live artist. I have studied martial arts, physical fitness and performed as a professional wrestler for 22 years across Europe. Towards the end of my wrestling career I started to transition into live art as I found some of the performance similarities intriguing, such as displaying the body in certain poses to draw emotion from an audience. I then discovered that live art could lend an authenticity to my work which I couldn’t display in the theatricality of wrestling.

My work currently focuses of the uncertainty of masculinity in today’s society. Masculine identity is in crisis, with expectations of the role in a state of flux . I question what are now the culturally and socially accepted ideals of masculinity? How we judge ourselves against these ideals?
I use my working class background, experiences of physical exercises and martial arts alongside my current interests of yogic breathing, meditation and Butoh to inform my art. I work with materials which are found in nature , others created for use on industrial working sites and objects for religious ceremonies. I combine these influences to create rituals, to show how the body and spirit can adapt and endure.

I have exhibited for 5 years throughout England, collaborating with Jordan McKensie and Noemi Lakmaier. I’ve developed and exhibited the work “Union” alongside Hellen Burrough which was presented at Tempting Failure in Croydon, Buzzcut in Scotland and Submerge in Bristol. This year I performed alongside Broderick Chow for his event “The Dynamic Tensions Physical Culture Show” which took place at Kings College in London. Furthermore, I have exhibited in Berlin for the first time this year at the Luisa Catucci Gallery” – Phill Bedwell