Bethany Wheeler: upcoming artist-in-residence

Bethany Wheeler in her Melbourne studio, 2016

Bethany Wheeler is an artist based in Melbourne. She trained as a glassmaker and her work now ranges from studio glass to found object assemblage sculpture and installation, jewellery and design. Bethany’s work embraces concepts of memory, place and what lies at the end of our perceptions of interior and exterior space. She is particularly drawn to working with glass as it reflects the vitreous environments we live in - glass is a material that surrounds us in almost every aspect of our lives. Glass allows light to fill space, letting objects visually materialize and dematerialize simultaneously whilst describing interior and exterior space. It is charged with fascinating material paradoxes, fragility and solidity; liquid and solid; transparent, translucent and opaque – it is a hybrid that illustrates notions of the human condition and ways of seeing. 

Bethany Wheeler, Flotsam, Jetsam and Compassion, 2016, lost wax cast glass, flame worked glass, 
fused glass, found glass, fishing floats, 58x55x19cm

Bethany was awarded a Master of Fine Art by research from Monash University in 2003 and has since been exhibiting her work both nationally and internationally. In 2013 she established 1000 Degrees Glass Studios, a communal kiln forming and cold working glass studio in Melbourne where she currently works. Last year she was a finalist in The Incinerator Art Award - Art for Social Change; Kirra Illuminating Glass Award and Noosa Art Prize. In 2015 Bethany held a substantial solo exhibition, Imprint, Place & Memory at Bayside Art and Cultural Centre Gallery, Brighton, Vic. In 2014 Bethany received The Lino Tagliapietra Grant to attend a Silvia Levenson workshop at Pilchuck Glass School, in USA. Bethany’s work can be found in private and public collections including the National Glass Art Collection of Australia. 

Bethany Wheeler, Beyond Measure, 2016, slumped glass, found pressure gauges, dried collected seaweeds, 
54x110x10cm, 46x50x8cm, 15x30x5cm

At Gunyah I'm planning to explore notions of memory and mapping of place through new experimental works in glass, with combinations of drawing, engraving and photography, working  with locally foraged artefacts and specimens such as insects, flora, ochre, sap, salt, charcoal and clay. Working on-site in the landscape I'll use a glass engraver to sketch line drawings onto sheets of clear glass; find local sands and rocks to abrade/mark into the surface the glass, and collect botanical specimens to sandwich between layers. The resulting works will be transparent blocks of layers of glass that reveal strata’s of sight specific observations of place and history. I'm looking forward to immersing myself in such a beautiful place and to be given the time to explore, discover and record all of its layers of history through new works that re-contextualises a geographical, historical and manifested sense of place.

Bethany Wheeler, What slips through the net, 2016, fused glass, glass beads, bamboo, 
metal and Cephalopod ink, 150x56x55cm

You can see more of Bethany's work on her website bethanywheeler.com

Bethany Wheeler in her Melbourne studio, 2016


Jaki Middleton and David Lawrey: upcoming artists-in-residence


Jaki Middleton and David Lawrey are a Sydney based collaborative working with kinetic sculptures, video and performance to construct installations that incorporate motion, optical phenomena, miniaturisation and repetition. By appropriating iconic snippets of film and re-staging fragments of photography and history in their work, Jaki and David invite the audience to observe, breakdown and reconfigure familiar narratives.


Jaki Middleton and David Lawrey working in their home studio


Their recent solo exhibitions include Open Sky at Gallery 9 Sydney in 2016 and Between Worlds at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery NSW in 2015. Recent group exhibitions include, Mind the Gap at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in 2014, Living in the Ruins of the Twentieth Century at UTS Gallery, Sydney in 2013; Time and Vision at the Bargehouse Gallery, London in 2012; and Otherworldly at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York in 2011, which subsequently toured to MUba – Eugène Leroy, Tourcoing, France in 2012. 

Jaki Middleton and David Lawrey, The world's more interesting with you in it, 2009, video sculpture 40x60cm

Jaki and David have undertaken residencies in Paris, London, Los Angeles and New York, and their work is held in public and private collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Wollongong Art Gallery and Macquarie Group. David Lawrey completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney in 2003. Jaki Middleton completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours in 2002, and a Master of Visual Arts in 2008, both from Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney. The artists are represented by Gallery 9, Sydney.


Jaki Middleton and David Lawrey, Time trap, 2015, kinetic sculpture, 150x270x200cm 

While at Gunyah we intend to develop the sculptural elements for a new series of wind-up kinetic artworks that repurpose the mechanics of old gramophones. With a single figure in each surrounded by a domestic scene, the project examines the tension between the common representation of 'the home' as comfort, safety and warmth – with other realities of anxiety, despair and unconscious desire. The series will be exhibited as part of the exhibition 'Dream Machines' at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery later in the year. We are really looking forward to this inclusive residency that will bring three generations of family together, intersecting creative work with contemplative time in nature, shared with our young children (2 and 4 years old) and two grandparents.
- Jaki and David


Jaki Middleton and David Lawrey, Consolidated life, 2009, kinetic sculpture, 270x120x100cm 


You can see more of Jaki and David's work on their website wayback.net.au and gallery9.com.au

2017 Gunyah Artists Announced

Thank you to everyone who applied for the 2017 Gunyah AIR program. 
Congratulations to the seven artists who have been selected for next year: 

Installation artists - Jaki Middleton & David Lawrey 

Sculptor - Bethany Wheeler

Photographer - Richard Glover

Textile artist - Julie Paterson

Writer - Merridy Eastman

Musician - Milan Ring

Painter - Rochelle Haley

Gunyah waterfront, photo Kath Fries