Art & Design

   

Sarah Beetson’s ‘I Dream In Celluloid’

Posted by Brett Hamm

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Sitting in For Walls Gallery above Miss Libertine, Sarah Beetson is as bright in disposition and sartorial style as the fluorescent colours of her work. In the centre of the space is a bed. Its doona is a retina-searing, custom printed-and-sewn patchwork version of the artwork that adorns the walls—a kaleidoscopic collision of dream worlds and cult film imagery. Despite the fact the doona cost Sarah a fortune to make, she happily invites me to have a go bouncing on the bed.

“We originally wanted to get Franco Cozzo to lend me beds or do it there or something,” she says cheerily, laughing as I ask if she’s had her eye on a nice classy white swan headboard. Always one for unconventionality (Sarah’s previous exhibitions include a custom painted Pepsi machine stocked with artworks in bottles available at random for $50 each), the idea of the doona came before the specific artistic subject.

“I was like, what am I going to base it on? Why a donna cover? Maybe I should look more at my dreams. And I started getting more interested in dream theory. I’ve got a friend who analyses dreams so I thought I could take that angle but I needed more. And I’d wanted to do something with film for a while…”

‘I Dream in Celluloid’ is the fourth solo show from Englishwoman-cum-adoptive-Queenslander Beetson. This show – replete with aforementioned bed and doona – seeks to explore the link between her obsession with film and how this affects her dreams and memories. Watching a movie every night before bed, Beetson recorded the contents of the dreams they inspired and used them as the subjects for work that delves into re-imagined filmic imagery, rediscovered memories, explorations of displaced identities and even the odd communion with deceased pets.

While ‘I Dream’ finishes up at For Walls on Thursday (the show will travel next to London then Ottawa), there will be plenty of opportunities for Melburnians to check out Beetson’s work over coming months. She’ll be featured as cover artist for Polynation Vol. 3 (available free this month at Polyester Books), participating in the birth.art group show at the Australian Catholic University Gallery in June and returning from a hectic overseas exhibition schedule for a solo show at Metro Gallery early next year. When I joke that her schedule sounds a little nuts, Sarah grins, bubbling with energy. “I always know what I’m doing for the next two years,” she says. “And if I don’t I panic.”

‘I Dream In Celluloid’ is showing at For Walls Gallery
34 Franklin St, Melbourne (above Miss Libertine) until Thursday, April 28
For more information on Sarah Breetson visit:
www.sarahbeetson.com


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