Tansey Contemporary will bring the much deserved recognition and celebration of Bettison’s achievements in the field of Murrini glass work here to the US with a major solo exhibition, opening September 11. The exhibition will include two distinct shows in one: An exhibition of all new work and a secondary retrospective exhibition showcasing key pieces from both early and recent series. Many of the works exhibited (both new and retrospective), are featured in the book, which will also be available through the gallery. Collectors who select works featured in the book will receive a complementary signed copy.
While each of Bettison’s series of works reflect different and distinct bodies of work overall, the ideas and themes that influence his work most (landscape and textiles) cross-pollinate and the retrospective exhibition will demonstrate both the differences and similarities across Bettison’s works over time, including how each series builds upon and informs the other.
The Billet series developed through the artist’s exploration of the rhythms and textures that arise from dense urban living and cityscapes as result of spending time in New York City when he began the series.
“There are different responses that arise when people live closely, some of which manifest in fashion, architecture, street art and vandalism. All these things thrown together seem to create apparently random patterns. I look at different ways that we see the many (sometimes seemingly frenetic) patterns, combining to make something that we can understand”.
This approach evolved into the Vista Series, for which Bettison used maps and aerial landscape photographs as a source for patterns and compositions.
Bettison’s Textile and Lace Series are both inspired by his interest in the significance of textiles within cultures and traditions. “The fine detail, intricate patterns, and colours all speak of careful attention to detail, time commitment and skill among other things, values that are held in high regard.” Bettison’s work references these qualities and he strives to create beautiful objects: “When people see something beautiful they feel positive and it adds to overall positivity”.
Bettison has been making Murrini vessles (and panels) for over 20 years and now works out of his own studio in his backyard at his home in Australia. He and his wife recently built this studio over a two-year period, during which Bettison took a break from glass making. “I was interested to see if I continued to think and wonder about making glass.” He did, and while his new works reflect new themes and ideas that came to him while building the studio, he continues to approach his making through the same ancient Murrini process and a reliance on color and pattern, creating new works that are recognizably Bettison, and better than ever.