Wild and Romantic (2014)
Multi media installation, film, performance, sculpture, film (8 minutes)
Bethell’s work takes the form of an installation incorporating film, assemblage and sculptures, and made up of old Gallery office stationery, a reference and homage to AirSpace Gallery and Bethell’s time there. The office space is manipulated and challenged by the artist and explores his need to escape the city and break free from the administrative duties of an artist. The office space is organised into two parts; one a natural environment and the other a normal office work space. The office space transforms into a makeshift boat and other romantic motifs often found in Romantic paintings. A reference to Bethell’s own desire to escape to the countryside, he changes the use of the object to something beyond its function to something that it's not adoptable too, it now exists both a natural and urban environment.
A makeshift boat and windmill are created from an office desk, found and everyday office stationery such as pens, office paper, tape, paper clips, and string etc. The transformation takes place over 24 hours in the gallery, during both the open and closed times of the gallery space. The work also looks at sets and stages and the play between the real and the fictional, the imaginable and the desired set against the actual, achieved by panning from the two separate spaces that have undergone the transformation. Switching between two spaces highlights the change in the fabricated environments, but also brings into focus the function of the objects that have been used within the transformation. This aims to question the original purpose and function of the objects and the human need for change.