Bettina Willner is an artist working between Naarm (Melbourne) and Gunaikurnai (South Gippsland). Practicing over two decades, Willner draws inspiration from the natural world, helping shape her ceramic sculptures and drawings. Walks in nature along the Gippsland coast bring forth layers of curls, twists, and coils into her hand-built sculptures. Time and the helical nature of ideas and experience also underpin her work, entwined lines like the snakes in Medusa hair wrap and twist around each other. Memory and her subjective relationship to ancient cities, architecture, both organic and of human design are also present in the development of her ideas and forms. Glistening bronze, deep ocean blues, stipples of black and red, pastel pink and sand like glazes coat clay drawings, reflecting the deep thought and connection Willner has to the aura of time and nature. Ornamentation is present in Willner’s work drawing on Baroque aesthetics and art history. Like the helical columns of Bernini’s baldachin, Willner celebrates an ornamentation that desires complexity, metaphysical connection, and multiplicity.
Willner studied at Monash University completing a Bachelor of Fine Art (1988-1991), and Wangaratta TAFE completing a Certificate in Design (1987). She has exhibited widely in Melbourne and Sydney at; Gippsland Art Gallery, Gippsland, Sydney Contemporary, Sydney, Metro Gallery, Melbourne, Caves, Melbourne, Saint Cloche, Sydney, Daine Singer, Melbourne, C3 Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne and Bundoora Homestead, Melbourne. Willner has also exhibited in design and art events in Melbourne and Sydney including Spring 1883, Melbourne, NGV Design Fair, Melbourne, Melbourne Art Fair, Melbourne and Art Fair Sydney Contemporary presents, Sydney. Willner’s work is in private collections, Australia, USA, United Kingdom, Indonesia.
b. 1969, based in Melbourne, Australia.
Group show, Ob-ject Re-form, The Hue and Cry Collective, Geelong
NGV Melbourne Design Week, Modern Times
Group show, Smalls, Otomys Contemporary, Melbourne
Eterne with Katie Daniels, Saint Cloche, Sydney
Sydney Contemporary Presents, Virtual presentation
Melbourne Art Fair, Virtual presentation
Rock, with Virginia Cummins, Tinning Street Presents, Melbourne
Holiday Dreaming (group) – Saint Cloche, Sydney
Rock (solo) – Tinning Street Presents, Melbourne Melbourne Design Week (group) – Modern Times, Melbourne
The Wandering Room (group) – Melbourne
Presence (group) – Melbourne
Spring 1883 (Art Fair) – Dutton, New York
Sometimes Strong (solo) – Sarah Scout, Melbourne 2017
Line and Curve (solo) – Red Gallery, Melbourne. 2016
Genuine Relic (group) – Seventh Gallery, Melbourne 2003
Pieces (group) – NinetySix, Melbourne
Women’s Salon (group) – Counihan Gallery, Melbourne
Show Of Hands (group) – Monash University Gallery, Melbourne
Bachelor of fine art, Monash University, Melbourne Australia (1988-1991)
Certificate of Art and Design, Wangaratta T.A.F.E 1987
RESIDENCIES, AWARDS & PUBLIC ART PROJECTS
2019: Residency International Ceramic Studio, ICS Hungary
2019: Noel Counihan Commemorative Art Award – Counihan Gallery, Melbourne
2001: Public Art Project – Moreland Council, Melbourne
1992: Finalist, Walker’s Award – Arts Centre, Gallery One, Melbourne.