Tribute to Bett in words and art

Written By miftah nugraha on Jumat, 02 Agustus 2013 | 19.55

CREATIVE PAIRING: Poet Pete Hay, left, and artist Tom O'Hern are taking part in the tribute to contemporary arts scene pioneer Dick Bett. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES

DICK Bett's vision for a collaborative and vibrant arts community in Tasmania will be continued this month, as poets and painters pay tribute to the late gallery owner and contemporary arts scene pioneer.

Tasmanian artists such as Tom Samek, Raymond Arnold, Patrick Hall, Tom O'Hern and Barbie Kjar have been paired with some of the state's most prolific poets including Sarah Day, Richard Flanagan and Pete Hay to create works in collaboration with each other.

For 25 years, Bett ran a series of Poets and Painters exhibitions, bringing together his love of the visual arts and of poetry, with his focus on building a strong arts community in Tasmania.

"These collaborative works pushed the boundaries for both the artist and the poet," Dick's daughter Emma Bett said.

"Both practices are quite solitary and can be lonely but these collaborations push them in different directions."

Ms Bett said it was fitting that the first event reviving the project was a tribute to her father.

"Dick was challenging new ways of thinking long before MONA came along," Ms Bett said.

Poets and Painters: A Tribute to Dick Bett, AM, exhibition, featuring 32 poets collaborating with 32 artists, opened last night at Bett Gallery, 369 Elizabeth St, North Hobart, and continues to August 23.

There will also be poetry readings today at 3pm.

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