WARMTH is a public wood-burning sauna + performance space.

I'm planning to stay in and around Sheffield with our beautiful WARMTH horse box sauna in 2019. After three 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.

A sauna manifesto:

WARMTH is yours
you are welcome

WARMTH is a culture
take your pleasures seriously

WARMTH is outside your normal life
leave 'usual' at the door

Winter or summer, rain or shine, there's pretty much no situation that wouldn't be improved by a good wood-burning sauna… 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.

We could all have more WARMTH in our lives.

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:

Photograph: Lizzie Coombes

Photograph: Lizzie Coombes

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

Photograph: Lizzie Coombes

Photograph: Lizzie Coombes

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 ArtistMiddle Child Theatre, Hull.
Nominated, BEST SET DESIGN for Distance, Off West End Awards [2018]
Nominated, BEST SET DESIGN for TRUST, Off West End Awards [2018]


ACEcompass banner.jpg

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.

Photograph: Lizzie Coombes

Photograph: Lizzie Coombes

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.

Brighton Fringe
For hosting WARMTH during May/June 2018. Thanks to Katie Bracher who initiated + ran this pop-up under the title of WARMTH Brighton. There was a great local response to WARMTH Brighton, and Katie has now established another horse-trailer sauna: Beach Box Brighton, inspired by the design of WARMTH.

Islington Mill, Salford
For hosting WARMTH in July 2018. Special thanks Olivia Glasser who initiated, co-ordinated + ran this event under title of WARMTH: Encore Room Residency.

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.

Lakes International Comic Arts Festival
For inviting us to their Finnish Village + festival of Finnish illustration, in partnership with Finnish Institute, October 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.

Slung Low, Leeds, Stocksbridge Community Leisure Centre, Sheffield, + Islington Mill, Salford
For hosting our WARMTH artist residencies + test sessions in April 2016

Antiuniversity, London
For hosting WARMTH, June 2016

Bones + Pearl Studios, London
For hosting WARMTH, April 2016

CADS, Sheffield
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 Compass 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

Kulttuurisauna, Helsinki
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]