sabbia gallery

Ceramics, Glass + Fibre

Gallery Two   6 - 30 March 2024

Giles Bettison – Tunkalilla, Renewed Connection

Sabbia Gallery is thrilled to present this solo exhibition of new work by South Australian glass artist Giles Bettison.

My very early glasswork was informed by the landscape around the family farm at Kapunda in SA. This evolved into to broader landscape inspired work throughout my career. My return to Australia in 2019 and reconnection to Tunkalilla has inspired this current body of work.

Looking at and engaging with the environment and landscape at Tunkalilla is growing my understanding and connection to this place. In this body of work I am exploring the pattern, rhythms and colours that I experience at Tunkalilla. I used sketches and photographs from Late Summer, Autumn and Winter of 2023 as a starting point. I have made works in the Vista and Tunkalilla series using this information.

At Tunkalilla we often walk along the beach collecting shells, seaweed and other things that get washed in by the ocean. I have looked at the drawings of Ernst Haeckel. Haeckel studied anatomy and physiology, particularly Radiolarians, microscopic plankton and other sea creatures. He would record what he saw under his microscope with drawings. In 2008 I began a series of work based on lace textiles. As I developed the patterns for this work I began to notice a resemblance to microscopic cellular forms. Once I became aware of the drawings of Ernst Haeckel I have been imagining microscopic forms and realising them with glass murrini. From the Haeckel drawings and the material I have collected from the beach I have created imagined microbiological forms in the Cell series.

We are currently working on revegetating land at Tunkalilla with local indigenous trees and understory. There is local wildlife including eagles, hawks, plovers, kangaroos, echidnas, native rats and mice and plenty of snakes and lizards. We are aiming to plant 6000 trees over the next few years. Working with the land to repair damage caused by clearing and understanding the human, animal and geological history is important to me and my family. It helps me feel a sense of place and connected.

Giles Bettison, 2024