Bettina Furnée’s visual art practice is rooted in notions of site and uses found or original language as primary material. The work ranges from text and moving image to complex environmental installations and public realm commissions.
She often works collaboratively with other artists, and engages participants and audiences in her creative process through interviews, word games, polls, screen writing, coffee mornings or similar mechanisms. These exchanges often provide the literary (mediated) content of the work. Driven by societal and existential concerns, her practice sits somewhere between poetry and politics, and is focused on ideas of migration, displacement and agency, and the slippage between individual and collective. Using text to connect a particular site with a wider discourse, the work looks to represent multiple viewpoints concerning our accidental time and place on this earth.
She initiated large-scale projects If Ever You’re In The Area (2005-06), which took place at coastal locations in East Anglia with solo shows at Firstsite and The Naze Tower; Powerhouse (2008), centred on an 8-week word association game staged at Cambridge University Library, supported by Kettle’s Yard and The Arthouse; Reality Rules (2012), proposals by the public for
‘New Rules For A Fair Society’ visualised in augmented reality on Parker’s Piece, Cambridge, commissioned by ARU and Futurecity; and most recently Even You Song (with writer Lucy Sheerman and composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad), a reimagined choral evensong which toured to four locations in 2019 with support from Wysing Arts Centre, Young Norfolk Arts and National Centre for Writing.
Bettina Furnée was educated at Leiden University, David Kinderley’s Workshop, Anglia Ruskin University and Chelsea College of Art. She was selected in 2020 to take part in Syllabus VI. She is founder member of peer review group BAT and was studio representative on the board of Wysing Arts Centre 2010-15.