Rupert Betheras – Field Work

With six solo exhibitions to his credit, artist Rupert Betheras presents a new body of work at Araluen Arts Centre for the first time. Field work will be his first solo exhibition depicting his time working at the Warlpiri community of Yuendumu, 290 kilometres North West of Alice Springs and his second exhibition at a public art gallery.

As a successful former AFL footballer who played for Collingwood; life after ‘footy’ has been largely devoted to exploring and developing an expressive and impassioned personal art practice. A recent educational role at Yuendumu School afforded Betheras a unique opportunity to satisfy his need to produce art whilst concurrently working with Warlpiri youth, including those confronted with the chasm between remote community life and the allure of a football career in urban centres.

In his capacity as sports mentor, Betheras has found himself continually returning to Alice Springs and Yuendumu over the years. It was here, in the Tanami Desert, that the corpus of Field work was conceived and created. Sheets of masonite, redundant school chalkboards, corkboards and canvas all provide the basis for this series in oil paint, acrylic and permanent marker. Many of the paintings repeat a symbolic motif; that of the football field, transposed with skeletal markings that bring a sense of the visceral, as well as the external rules, stratagem and boundaries which mark and guide people’s lives.

image: Filed work #22, 2013, ink and acrylic on board, 95.5 x 95.5 cm
14 February23 March 2014
Araluen Arts Centre