Thursday, 20 December 2012

Happy Holidays

Bett Gallery will close on the 24th of December for a qiuck break, opening in 2013 on the 3rd of January.  Thank you to all of you for your support over 2012.  We look forward to catching up in the New Year.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Opening tonight: Thornton Walker – Koay teow th’ng

Peranakan II, 2012.  Watercolour, ink and acrylic on paper. 172 x 140 cm

Thornton Walker is a Melbourne based visual artist, whose practice explores memory, stillness and nostalgia. Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Walker has exhibited widely, and his works are held in both national and international collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of NSW, Parliament House, and the British Museum. 

Walker produced his latest body of work Koay teow th’ng, while undertaking an artist’s residency in Penang, Malaysia. In this exhibition, Walker mediates on the past through capturing the faded faces that decorate Penang’s temple walls. Through his characteristic use of photography, the artist translates atmospheric images into watercolour, ink, acrylic and oil paint. The intimately cropped works suggest a quiet fragility and passage of time, though their ink stained and spattered surfaces. 

In Koay teow th’ng, Walker gently mocks our enthusiasm for the allure of foreign cultures. With a wry irreverence, the artist contrasts his dreamy portraits with unrelated Chinese characters. In his Nonya girl image, the script reads “lychee in heavy syrup.” The banality of the text belies the atmospheric and romantic portrait. Indeed, the title of the exhibition takes its name from a popular noodle soup dish sold at road side stall in Malaysia. 

Come and join us for the opening at 6pm, November 9.
Koay teow th’ng runs until December 1st.

Neil Haddon at Inflight

Bett Gallery artist Neil Haddon is currently exhibiting 'the black mirror, the hunter, the basement, the studio'  at Inflight Gallery. The exhibition runs until November 30th, with a floor talk from Neil on November the 24th, 2pm.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

What our artist's are up to

Heather B Swann, Bronek Kozka, Annika Koops and our own lovely staff member Mish Meijers are all finalists in the Substation Contempoaray Art Prize, announced 21st of September 2012.

Raymond Arnold, Neil Haddon, Tim Burns and Megan Walch are all finalists in the 2012 City of Hobart Art Prize.  Announced 5th of October 2012.

Barbie Kjar, Peter Atkins, Heather B Swann and Prudence Flint have all been selected for inclusion in this years Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery 2012 National Works on Paper exhbition.  Ends 7 October.

Bronek Kozka is a finalist in the 2012 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, announced 26 October 2012.

Joel Crosswell selected for Shotgun

This is a great show.  Don't miss it.

Joel's work is creepy and superb.

15 September to 7 October 2012

CAST, Tasma Street, North Hobart

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Congratulations Helen Wright

Congratulations to all the winners in this year's Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, especially our own Helen Wright who took out 2nd place in the Works on Paper category with her wood cut print titled The Exquisite Corpse of Seaweed Man .
The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize is a prestigious art award that celebrates our intricate and complex global biodiversity and encourages excellence in natural history art within Australia and around the world.

The prize was established by the South Australian Museum in 2002 to honour its first curator, the eminent zoologist Frederick George Waterhouse. Now in its tenth year, the Waterhouse is Australia’s richest prize for natural history art. It has proudly contributed over one million dollars to the arts community since its inception.

The enduring popularity of the prize is testament to the unique opportunity it gives artists to interpret the beauty and fragility of our natural world.

The exhibition of finalists' artworks are on display at the South Australian Museum until 9 September 2012.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Annika Koops featured in current Australian Art Collector magazine p.122-129

Melbourne Art Fair 2012

Heather B Swann wins Swan Hill Drawing Prize

Cloud, ink on paper, 100 x 150 cm
Congratulations to Heather B Swann, having just won the Swan Hill Drawing prize, judged by Roger Butler from the National Gallery of Australia.  Bett Gallery are thrilled to announce a drawing exhibition by Heather B Swann in it's upcoming program.  Watch this space...

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

For the diary

Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery acquire David Keeling work

Slow walk, coastal track, oil on linen, 184 x 138cm
Bett Gallery are thrilled to announce the recent acquisition by the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery of David Keeling's major work, Slow Walk, Coastal track.  This work is currently on show at Bett Gallery as part of David's most recent exhibition Views from the Dream Palace. Exhibition continues to 30 June 2012.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Julie Gough featured in 2nd Indigenous Triennial

From May to July 2012, the National Gallery will celebrate the second National Indigenous Art Triennial, unDisclosed. Over autumn and winter, Gallery visitors will have the opportunity to experience the dynamic visual expression of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. 20 artists have been selected for their commitment to excellence and their daring to explore new fields of practice and artistic vision, these artists both inform and redefine contemporary Indigenous art as we presently know it.

The twenty artists featured in UnDisclosed: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial are: Tony Albert, Vernon Ah Kee, Bob Burruwal, Michael Cook, Lorraine Connelly-Northey, Nici Cumpston, Fiona Foley, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, Gunybi Ganambarr, Julie Gough, Lindsay Harris, Jonathan Jones, Danie Mellor, Naata Nungurrayi, Maria Josette Orsto, Daniel Walbidi, Christian Thompson, Alick Tipoti, Lena Yarinkura and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu.

The exhibition’s theme, ‘unDisclosed’, alludes to the spoken and the unspoken, the known and the unknown, what can be revealed and what cannot. It captures the duality of the disclosed and undisclosed embedded within the works and the exhibition as a whole. Viewers are invited to unearth the layers of hidden and subtle meanings and to place them alongside those that are conspicuous.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery acquire Amanda Davies

Incapacity  2011, oil on linen, 198 x 244 cm
We are pleased to announce the recent acquisition by TMAG of Amanda Davies work Incapacity, exhibited at Shotgun, Contemporary Art Space Tasmania, Hobart and Cross Art Projects, Sydney.

Congratulations Imants Tillers

Winner of the 2012 Wynne Prize with his work Waterfall (after Williams).   Imants says of the work:

This painting is my version of Fred Williams’s Free copy of Eugene von Guerard’s Waterfall, Strath Creek, 1862. Von Guerard’s celebrated painting hangs in the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Williams’s work was a gouache executed in 1970. However, he went on to paint several significant original oils of this iconic subject. In my work, the waterfall somehow embodies the fleeting and mysterious nature of life. The waters of Strath Creek, after all, come from the catchments around Mount Disappointment [in Victoria].

Super-imposed over the ever-changing movement of water, I have quoted the sentiments of a famous Indian sutra:

The fleeting self
Like a beam
Like a vision
Like a bubble
Like a shadow
Like dew
Like lightening   

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Jane Burton 'other stories' opens Thursday 5th of April 2012

 Other Stories is a collection of photographs that are intended to be experienced as a series of impressions: loose associations rather than determined narratives.  Structured with five chapters like a fairy-tale collection, each series is toned in a different colour. These tones, reminiscent of old photographic processes and hand-colouring techniques, have been selected to bring particular associations of atmosphere and emotion to the images.

La Bête #1 2011 pigment print on paper, 40 x 54 cm
Each series, or chapter, can be viewed as unique and self-contained, though elements from each thread through from one to another, creating symbolic associations and unconscious links between chapters.
The atmosphere common to all the stories is cinematic and dreamlike. Saturated with colour (peach-sepia, red, viridian green, lavender, and blue), each series has its own emotional pitch and temperature; the ‘story’ is non-linear, non-literal, falling instead between remembrances, hallucination, and fantasy.

Limbo #7 2011 pigment print on paper,
60 x 40 cm
Whether depicting a figure, landscape, interior, or object, the photographs are imbued with a weight of meaning and emotional intensity. The landscapes for example, are rendered as symbolic, psychological – places imagined, felt, remembered, rather than actual or specific locations.  The female figure depicted, as both woman and child, is like a character that moves through the stories, an animating presence but more ghost than a definitive persona. As in a dream scape, she shifts through temporal zones, locations, scenarios and a variety of roles; an embodiment and psychological reflection of these and other stories.

This exhibition features a selection of photographs from Jane's recently published book – Other Stories. This book is one of three published under the title 3 Books, comprising three separate photographic monographs by three contemporary Melbourne artists - Jane Burton, Darren Sylvester, and Simon Terrill.  The books are designed by Darren Sylvester, edited by Helen Frajman and published by M.33, Melbourne.

Sleep has his house #10 2011 pigment print on paper

Jane Burton is one of Australia’s most renowned mid-career artists working in the photographic medium. Born in Brisbane in 1966, she studied at the Tasmanian School of Art before undertaking the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris - Lloyd Rees Travelling Scholarship and Residency in 1993 and then moving to Melbourne. Since that time Burton has exhibited extensively throughout Australia with numerous solo and group exhibitions. In 2008 she was included in Trace Elements: spirit and memory in Japanese and Australian photomedia at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Japan and in 2012 will undertake the 24HR Art Beijing residency. Her work has been critically acclaimed and resides in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, the Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, the Sovereign Art Foundation, Hong Kong and London and the National Gallery of Victoria.

Burton’s work has gained considerable critical and curatorial attention over the last 15 years. Often described as an investigation into the feminine, her oeuvre has also explored landscape and the architectural. The world of Jane Burton’s photography is a morass of mystery, nostalgia, film noir, potential threat, sense of place, spirituality and sexuality; a world of dread and desire, beauty and melancholia.

View exhbition online

David Stephenson works acquired by National Gallery of Australia

The Zinc Works & Mt Wellington  2004, type c colour photograph
We are thrilled to announce the NGA's recent acquisition of Light Cities: Hobart and The Zinc Works & Mt Wellington by David Stephenson.  Light Cities: Hobart will be a feature work in David's upcoming exhibition Light Cities opening in the main gallery, 4 to 28 May 2012.
Light Cities: Hobart 2010, fine art ink-jet print

Monday, 19 March 2012

Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award

Congratulations to Anne MacDonald & Bronek Kozka, both finalists in the 2012 Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award.  Announced 31 March.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Wynne Prize Finalists

Congratulations Neil Haddon, Imants Tillers & Philip Wolfhagen, all finalists in the 2012 Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Tricky Walsh 'science fictions' opens Friday 9th of March 2012

The quartz crystal piezoelectric generator (detail) 2012
Science Fictions is Tricky's debut exhibition with Bett Gallery.   This exhibition explores Tricky's fascination with the inner workings of things. Sculptural works, faux - museum type displays of instruments and gadgetry, constructed of timber and found objects  are accompanied by detailed renderings of diagrams and drawings in ink and gouache, that replicate both the scientific and fantastical. Incredible work. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Congratulations Kurilpa Collection

 The Kurilpa Collection celebrated reaching the half way mark of their collecting period with an exhibition of their work collected so far, a dinner and a forum.  Carol and Emma Bett were delighted to be invited to take part in the celebrations. The group found it valuable to be able to assess their collection after 5 years and now go on invigorated for the next 5.  The forum was a great success with panel members including Carol Bett (Bett Gallery), Emma Bett (Bett Gallery), Michael Schwarz (Acacia Collection, Melbourne), Jon Cattapan (artist) and Jen McLennan (Kurilpa Collection).  The gallery was packed to capacity with people interested in learning more about Bett Gallery Art Collecting Groups.  For more information on these groups go to:

Pat Brassington & Richard Bell at 2012 Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art

Across four physical platforms, Parallel Collisions presents 21 commissioned works by some of Australia’s leading artists, including Pat Brassington and Richard Bell.  Curated by Natasha Bullock and Alexie Glass-Kantor the 2012 Adelaide Biennial explores the ways in which ideas emerge, converge and re-form through time. From a floating island of 2000 cut-glass objects to an explosive light installation that clocks in real time human births, deaths and dying stars, this Biennial considers the temporality of the present as it parallels and collides with the past.

Julie Gough at Adelaide Festival

Deadly features newly commissioned works by eight leading Australian First Nation artists and collectives, including Julie Gough.  Curated by Fulvia Mantelli and Renee Johnson with Troy-Anthony Baylis, Nici Cumpston and Brenda L. Croft as advisors.  The Adelaide Festival is on from the 2nd to the 8th of March.  To find out more have a look at their website

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Raymond Arnold work acquired by The Parliament House Collection

Sediment & reflection 2004
screenprint on paper
100 x 70 cm
, edition of 8

Bett Gallery announces the recent acquisition of Reflection & Sediment  2004, a screenprint on paper by Raymond Arnold, by the Parliament House Collection, Canberra.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Congratulations David Keeling

The Embassy of Australia Gallery in Washington DC, USA will showcase works by David Keeling  in the exhibition Lie of the Land: New Australian Landscapes. This exhibition looks at recent works by Australian artists that explore and complicate the character of Australia’s national landscape tradition.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Joan Ross animation acquired by Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery

BBQ This Sunday (flight paths) 2011, pigment print on premium photo paper
45 x 76 cm (paper size), edition of 5
Bett Gallery is thrilled to announce the acquisition of Joan Ross' digital animation, BBQ This Sunday, BYO,  from her recent exhibition BBQ This Sunday, BYO, by the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Bett Gallery welcomes Joan Ross

BBQ this Sunday, BYO
Friday 6th of January to Saturday 3rd of March 2012 

Brave New Years 2011, pigment print on paper, 45 x 76 cm, ed. of 5
As a child I was fascinated by the fact that the important colonial painter Joseph Lycett was a forger. In a sense I am continuing his tradition of taking something and forging something new out of it.

One of the reasons for Lycett's fame lay in the fact he was one of the first to depicted the Aboriginal population engaged in traditional activities, and much of my work has on some level an element of the continuing dance of the races.

The mentality behind colonialism can manifest itself in many ways and the ongoing creep, nay, invasion of high vis yellow and fluoro orange are a modern-day example. I didn't vote for these colours, yet they are everywhere!

Joan Ross, 2011
I feel fine 2011, pigment print on paper, 45 x 76 cm, ed. of 5

Joan Ross questions assumptions of our cultural identity and being 'civilised'. Her materials include what we disavow in our personal lives - intense everyday neuroses like possessiveness, jealousy, and insecurity - and in our cultural identity as Australians - profound ambivalence towards the legacy of colonialism. At times her work can be unsettling and discomfiting, but they are also riveting, raucous and generous in their negotiation of emotional experience. Their economical composition adds to the intensity of their impact, while their materiality brings them with great immediacy into the realm of our everyday.

Since 1985, Ross has exhibited in contemporary galleries, at regional, state and the national gallery, as well as exhibiting internationally.  Ross has work held in major private in Australia, China and Britain, as well as corporate and public collections including National Gallery of Australia, Artbank, University of Sydney, University of Wollongong Art Gallery, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Gold Coast Regional Gallery, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Campbelltown Art Centre and Macquarie Group Collection.

Exhibition available online on Thursday the 5th of January 2012

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Belinda Winkler exhibition opens 6 January 2012

Align 2011, cast bronze
 5 objects: 12 x 65 x 12 cm (approx install)
edition of 3
Belinda Winkler’s sculptural forms hover at this moment of minimal and potential narrative. The tension, compression and distortion expressed in the curvature of edges and surfaces imply a history of the application of force and therefore the passage of time, but the work itself supplies nothing more than this. The viewer reads into the contraposto curves and twisting surfaces the strain of muscle and tendon, the tautness of stretched skin or the effects of gravitational force. It may be biophilic empathy that leads us to read these works as organism. The larger scale of Winkler’s rolled steel pieces, renders them anthropomorphic, suggesting the surfaces and actions of a human body.

Gravitate 2011, hand polished porcelain with glazed interior
3 objects: 8.5 x 30 x 30 cm (aprox install)
With her closed and semi-closed vessel formsWinkler explores her biotic minimalism in a different way. Their full, subtly asymmetrical shape alone renders them broadly biomorphic, especially when they are clustered as groups and pairs in implicit communion. Here, the silhouettes of the forms suggest specific relationships - intimacy, tension, need, maybe nurturing. The spaces between, where the surfaces draw infinitely close, sing with potential energy.   The openings in the forms, which we cannot help but read as mouths, extend this biomorphism, its size alone transforming their characters. Poised between organism and vessel, large openings suggest generosity or hunger, smaller ones perhaps disregard or sufficiency. Forming these openings with a precise, planar slice through the form, Winkler references Euclidean geometry and emphasizes the illusory nature of our biophilic readings.

Gravity #6 2011, hand polished porcelain with glazed interior
10 objects: 18 x 40 x 30 cm (approx install)
The smooth, perfect finish of Winkler’s work serves both to emphasise the skin-like qualities of the surfaces and to eliminate a competing narrative of fabrication. The life seemingly inherent in the curves and shapes of her forms is far from the anaemic, indeed Platonic, perfection of cyberspace. To achieve her minimum curvature Winkler’s methods are emphatically analogue; she experiments with metal, foam, creepy fabrics such as Lycra®, liquid-filled balloons and other materials; compressing, stretching, running them through industrial bending and rolling machines. At this stage, roughly cut plywood shapes bolted through sheets of foam, liquid-filled balloons distorted with string and scaly bands of rolled steel are far from the smooth, sensuous and sometimes erotic surfaces that Winkler achieves in the finished work. Yet it is these processes that, through experiment, repetition and serendipity, produce curves and surfaces with the spring and tension that gives them life.
Contrapposto #1 2011, steel & polyurethane
triptych: 60 x 500 x 30 cm (approx install)

Twentieth century Minimalist sculptors sought to eliminate the anthropomorphic and with it extraneous narrative from their work. At the edge of the minimal, Winkler’s work conducts a stripped down potential for narrative, exploiting our almost inevitable tendency to see meaning in form and life and movement in the curve.

Peter Hughes.
Senior Curator (Decorative Arts)
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Belinda Winkler is a Tasmanian artist and is currently completing an Invitational Reflective Practice PhD through the RMIT School of Architecture and Design, having attained a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Education, University of Tasmania. Winkler’s practice spans sculpture, public art and design. Her work is held in public and private collections nationally.

Exhibition available for online preview 5 January 2012