All images: Roth Bar, work in progress, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2024 © Oddur Roth. Photos: Bjarni Grímsson

In Residence: Oddur Roth

9 April 2024

Björn and Oddur Roth were some of our first artists-in-residence in Somerset back in 2014, when they worked on creating the bar that formed an integral part of Roth Bar & Grill, the gallery’s on-site restaurant. 10 years later, Oddur Roth has returned to the Maltings studio space alongside his team, as they are to reimagine Roth Bar as a new site-specific artwork and fully functioning bar inside the Threshing Barn at Hauser & Wirth Somerset.

How has your residency at The Maltings in Somerset supported the creation of the new Roth Bar?

It’s a luxury to have the functionality of The Maltings, which provides us with the opportunity to have everything in one place. Usually we would have to contend with a lot of materials, long distances between locations, or shipping things which we have built elsewhere. It has space upstairs where we can paint and another room that we have converted into a design studio. Downstairs we have fabricated most of the elements of the bar, which we can then move easily up to the gallery. To have the ability to build a site-specific artwork on the ground is very unique. 

You and your father, Björn, were previously in residence in Somerset 10 years ago, creating the original Roth Bar. What was different about this residency? 

The biggest difference between the two residencies is that my father is not here with us this time around, but hopefully he’ll be with us on the next one.

Has the environment in Somerset inspired your work? 

We find it very important to collaborate with local people to source materials to give the Roth Bar the feeling that it is from here and not just a work that was made somewhere else and installed. The bar has roots in Somerset and we wanted to respect those who came before us. 

Is there anything you can’t live without in your studio? 

Generally, we are not attached to certain things or places—we just create our own world wherever we set up. The Maltings has everything you could need for a team.

What have you enjoyed most about your time in Somerset? 

The best thing about The Maltings is how it functions as a space for artists. When I was first here ten years ago, we were some of the first artists to be in residence—things were new—but now you can see the traces of other artists also working here; there is paint on the floor that gives the space a life of its own. It is a home-away-from-home, a place to live and work and it's great that other people can also experience that. 


The new Roth Bar in Somerset is open from Saturday 25 May 2024.

Learn more about our residency program.