Natura Morta is an exhibition of drawings, mixed media works and installations by Bettina Kaiser at Chrissie Cotter Gallery, that explores aspects of humanity’s relationship with nature and the climate crisis, and invites viewers to get active and collect waste in exchange for works on view. In discussion with the artist, the South Sydney Herald Bettina describes her desire to see change in both humanity’s care and concern for the environment.
Latin for ‘dead nature’ or ‘still life’, Natural Morta has a powerful message. The artist is responding to the fear-laden future of our natural world if humanity cannot resolve its deep-seated ambivalence to the environment:
In the exhibition, fluoro colours warn us of danger, animals, especially birds, play the role of messengers, and several works invite visitors to take action as a direct response.
“The climate future that we are facing, that our children will have to live through, it scares me every day. My fear is real, it is big, and I cannot ignore that in my art,”Bettina Kaiser
Included in the exhibition is the series Waste Life, still lives of street rubbish, some of it picked up by crows (a sad daily sight on the school grounds near Kaiser’s home). Waste Life also invites the viewer to become involved: smaller works have no saleable price but can be obtained by collecting waste from local streets or waterways and bringing it to the exhibition in exchange for an artwork.
“I hope with this exchange not only to get a few bags of rubbish off the streets, and hence out of our stormwater and rivers, but also to send people home with a memento of this small action that can be done daily…”The artist
Kaiser’s Risograph-printed Climate Emergency and Koalas Burning posters can also be taken free of charge, with the expectation that they will be pasted publically, or displayed in the local community, with the hope of initiating discussion and action.
Natura Morta runs May 26th to June 6th, Thursday and Friday 11am-2pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm, or by appointment.