WARMTH is a public wood-burning sauna + performance space, opening in Sheffield, early 2019.
I'm excited to be creating a permanent Sheffield base for our beautiful WARMTH horse box sauna in 2019. After two years of pop-ups and festivals, seeing the visitors books get filled with wonderful comments + making hundreds of people sweaty + happy, I want to stay in one place for a while, and make the sauna a permanent community asset for my home city, Sheffield.
We could all have more WARMTH in their lives. After a day in the office, a big night out, in the middle of a mad week running around with the kids, after a big deadline, between coats of paint in the kitchen, after a muddy bike ride, after a long walk, after a wild swim, after too much screen-time or after a good workout in the gym. Winter or summer, rain or shine, there's pretty much no situation that wouldn't be improved by a good wood-burning sauna.
By keeping our overheads low, we want to keep the sauna sessions simple + affordable. The sauna yard will be a welcoming + community-focussed space. We can't wait to share it with you. Join our mailing list to get updates:
A Sauna is many things to many people. To some it is a haven of luxury wellbeing, to others a neon sign outside a bar. To some it may be an obscure Finnish tradition, for others a place to catch up with friends after a gym workout. For WARMTH, we have created a Finnish sauna in a beautifully converted horse trailer. Depending on the time of day and number of visitors, WARMTH can be a private space of relaxation, or a social environment, conducive to open, intimate + quiet conversation
WARMTH is owned + managed by Bethany Wells, a performance designer working across dance, theatre and installation, with particular interest in site-specific and devised performance.
Associate Artist, Middle Child Theatre, Hull.
Nominated, BEST SET DESIGN for Distance, Off West End Awards 
Nominated, BEST SET DESIGN for TRUST, Off West End Awards 
WARMTH is an invitation to passers-by, collaborators + audiences, to hang up their coats, leave their phones behind and just experience. Our aim is to create a welcoming space, where all bodies are respected; all genders, sizes, shapes + ages; enter, leave, enjoy the WARMTH, sit for a while, take a shower; find your own pace.
Since 2011 WARMTH has been evolving collaboration with many sites, artists + supporters. Starting with experiments at the RCA with Department 21, and then in 2016 with funding + support from Arts Council England + Compass Live Art to develop the sauna as a site for performance + installation. Thank you to everyone who has supported us + collaborated with us so far:
The Culture Vulture
For creating a podcast about WARMTH, Compass Festival 2018
Compass Festival, North Star Coffee, Primal Gym + Leeds Dock
For partnering with WARMTH during Compass Festival 2018. Special thanks to Anna Turzynski + Rochyne Delaney McNulty for support in running the sauna at Compass Festival 2018.
North Star Coffee, Leeds
For hosting a screening of Steam of Life, Compass Festival 2018.
For hosting WARMTH during May/June 2018, thanks to Katie Bracher who initiated, co-ordinated + ran this event under the title of WARMTH Brighton. There was such a great local response to WARMTH Brighton, Katie has now established a permanent horse-trailer sauna: Beach Box Brighton, inspired by the design of WARMTH.
Arctic Bazaar, at the Art Hostel, Leeds
For inviting us to be a central part of their winter festival. The Arctic Bazaar was a collaboration between &/or Emporium and Imaginaria, in partnership with East Street Arts and Art Hostel. December 2017.
SKINT International Dance + Music Weekend
For inviting WARMTH to their annual festival in Derbyshire in both 2017 and 2018.
Art Hostel, Leeds
For partnering with WARMTH during Compass Festival 2016. Special thanks to Robyn Haddon for support in running the sauna at Compass Festival, October 2016.
For hosting WARMTH, June 2016
Bones + Pearl Studios, London
For hosting WARMTH, April 2016
For their support during the build process for WARMTH, Dec/Jan 2015/6
Arts Council England + Compass Live Art
For commissioning + supporting the development of WARMTH in 2015/6. Special thanks to all the artists + performers who took part in our initial artist residency, April 2016:
Top Joe, performer
Tim Shaw, sound artist
Nick Cassenbaum, performer + writer
Viccy Adams, writer
gen doy, performer + artist
Alice Malseed, performer + writer
Hilda Törmänen + Ross Hvidsten, Helsinki
For hosting WARMTH research trip + tours round Helsinki's public saunas, January 2014
Finnish Sauna Society, Helsinki
For a guided tour around the 6 saunas at the Finnish Sauna Society, January 2014
Hanna Pasanen, CSM
For hosting a discussion around Finnish sauna at the Finnish Church in London, May 2014
For sauna stove recommendations
Royal College of Art
For hosting WARMTH, at the Work in Progress Show, Februrary 2011
Department 21, RCA 2010-11
Special thanks to all D21 artists who contributed to WARMTH in February 2011:
Anthony Bowles [sauna construction]
Afonso Martin [furniture construction]
Alkesh Parmar [sauna construction]
Aloka [hosting SilentRCA day]
Andrew Willson [facilitator [SilentRCA]
Bianca Elzenbaumer [sauna construction, D21/Brave New Alps]
Deniz Johns [installation + workshop host]
Deshna Metha [photography + illustration]
Grant Mcraig [sauna construction]
Karolina Raczynska [installation]
Rob Bellman [sauna stove construction]
Sophie Demay [D21 co-ordinator, furniture construction]