Annette van Betlehem first became involved with the Queenstown community in 1993 to be part of a group that lobbied the government to restore the West Coast Wilderness Railway. She settled there in 1997 after graduating with a BFA from the University of Tasmania. She established Hunter Street Studios – a centre for Art and Art Education.
Painting since 2005 with oil on canvas, Annette has held 11 solo exhibitions in nipaluna/Hobart, Naarm/Melbourne, WA and Queenstown, and numerous group exhibitions in Australia and overseas.
The catalogue of Colori Dell’Anima 2015 at Galleria 360 in Florence, Italy described Annette’s technique as “hyperrealist” – meaning that the paint is applied to replicate the processes of nature, using thickly-applied texture layer on layer, with gravity as a partner in the process.
“ ... the painting of the Australian artist creates a new sense of reality, where Nature, absolute protagonist, becomes an eschatological means of purification and discovery. Annette van Betlehem seems to dip the brush directly into the primal force that dominates the world and, through delicate and subtle textures of lighting effects, intense and evocative colours, creates an enveloping atmosphere that invites to an inner silence ... ”
– Colori Dell’Anima Exhibition 2015 Catalogue, translated by critic Virginia Bazzecca