bethany van rijswijk + emma bugg ― power duo

In Bethany Van Rijswijk’s work, it is the plants, not people, that dominate. She layers giant ‘almost psychedelic botanical illustrations’ over familiar scenes, like those of Pieter Breugel’s peasant dancers or Lucas Cranach’s nudes. Like visions from a fairytale, these distinct hand-cut collages are Bethany’s way of creating an ‘alternative history’ and a world where ‘plants are at the centre of every story.’

“I have always been fascinated by plants and the mythology behind them,” Bethany explains.

“Plants are so often overlooked, but in reality they have played a major role in shaping our civilizations including our food, wine and medicine.”

Much of Bethany’s fascination centres around the folklore of poisonous flowers, mind-altering plants, and so-called weeds: “My main aim in Devotion to the Invisible is to reposition plants as key protagonists within our world, within our history, and to tell their own individual stories.”

While Bethany’s focus is on plant’s, Emma Bugg’s mind is on rocks. Or in the case of this exhibition,  specifically on man-made ones. She is excited to be showing her latest jewellery designs which are the result of exploration with the gem, moissanite.

“Moissanite is a wonderful lab grown gem, that has a similar hardness of a diamond and comes in a range of wonderful colors,” Emma explains. “In my latest work it is all about using materials that play with light and color and I have chosen to use beautiful teal green stones for the pieces.”

Emma was inspired to create her jewellery – which features rings and necklaces – as a way to showcase Tasmania’s incredible light. Pointing to the luminescence that glitters on our cold water, and the Aurora Australis that often lights up the sky, Emma sees these latest pieces as “celebrating the light in the dark of winter.”

The exhibition of Bethany van Rijswijk and Emma Bugg runs from June 11 – June 28.