Bettina Furnée

I am a Dutch-born artist based in Cambridge, with a studio at Wysing Arts Centre. My site-specific work is intrinsically linked with the public, existing between performance, installation and moving image. Collaboration is at the heart of my practice and I work with writers, musicians, participants and others to realise projects that challenge dominant narratives and amplify voices of the community. I situate my projects in places that are invested with power, such as a church, library or bunker.

My work explores the instability of language using word play, slippage, text and sound to explore social constructs, beliefs and our innate need for belonging and survival. For instance, Even You Song was a choral evensong based on interviews with twelve couples about a potential space mission, and this premiered at Peterborough Cathedral, before touring in 2019. Powerhouse was a temporary installation, posters, archival work and film, which resulted from a durational word association game staged at Cambridge University Library. Lines of Defence was an installation of lettered flags that fell from the cliffs into the sea, with 17 meters of land, during the course of a year. The installation and film of Lines of Defence was part of larger project If Ever You’re In The Area addressing fear of invasion and climate chaos with site-specific works at historic military sites in Suffolk and Essex and a solo show at Firstsite, Colchester.

I have been awarded public commissions, exhibitions, residencies and support for self-initiated projects. In 2020 I was selected for Syllabus VI professional development programme by Eastside Projects, Iniva, Spike Island, Studio Voltaire and Wysing Arts Centre.


Short biography

Based in Cambridge (UK), Bettina Furnée is studio artist at Wysing Arts Centre, Bourn, where she was studio artist representative on the Board of Directors (2010-15). She read art history and was trainee and studio assistant at David Kindersley’s Workshop, before graduating with a Masters in Public Art from Chelsea College of Arts.

She has been supported by art organisations and public sector bodies nationally. Her live events, public commissions and solo shows include:  choral evensong Even You Song (with Lucy Sheerman), site-specific installation A World To Come (A+C 2019); solo show Counting In A Different Language (Ruskin Gallery 2015); public art for residents Near Holme, Call Your Home Poetic (MKGallery 2018); audio visual roadside works Live Neutral Earth (Central Bedfordshire Council/Amey 2014-18); international residency Material Response (National Gallery of the Bahamas/Ipswich & Colchester Museums 2011-12); AR pilot Reality Rules (ARU/Futurecity 2012); glass screens I Will Do Right (Ministry of Justice 2009); live event Powerhouse (Kettles Yard/The Arthouse 2008) and If Ever You’re In The Area with coastal installations and solo show (Firstsite 2005-06).



B E T T I N A   F U R N E E 

Born: Den Haag, The Netherlands

Lives and works in Cambridge, U.K.

Studio: Wysing Arts Centre, Bourn




2020-2021         Syllabus VI, Eastside Projects, Iniva, Spike Island, Studio Voltaire, Wysing Arts Centre

1997-1999          BA Hons Art History, Anglia Ruskin University (First Class)

1992-1994          MA Theory and Practice of Public Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design

1983-1989          Studio assistant, David Kindersley’s Workshop, Cambridge

1981-1983          Archaeology and Art History, Leiden University, Netherlands


Live events

2022     Even You Song (with Lucy Sheerman), Our Place In Space, Midsummer Common, Cambridge

2019     Even You Song Tour of East Anglia 2019 (with Lucy Sheerman), King’s Lynn, Kingston, Cambridge, London, supported by Wysing Arts Centre, King’s Lynn Festival and Young Norfolk Arts

2017     Even You Song (with Lucy Sheerman & Cheryl Frances-Hoad) choral evensong, world premiere Peterborough Cathedral, supported by Metal Peterborough

2012     Reality Rules (with Dylan Banarse), New Rules for a Fair Society AR pilot, Parker’s Piece, Cambridge, Visualise Art & Technology commissions by Anglia Ruskin University and Futurecity

2008     Powerhouse, 8-week live event, web archive, film, posters, Cambridge University Library, Space for 10 residency, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (with The Arthouse, Wakefield)

2005-6   If Ever You’re in the Area, coastal installations, live event BBC Radio 3


Selected commissions

2023     Outlook, South Blockhouse heritage scheme, Hull, commissioned by Hull City Council

2023     I am more like this.), neon text piece, Coventy Cathedral, Sheffield Cathedral, St Marks (Sheffield), Doncaster Minster, commissioned by Sheffield University

2019     A World To Come, installation at All Saints and St Andrew, Kingston, commissioned by Art + Christianity

2018     Near Holme, Call Your Home Poetic, public art for Claridge Park, Milton Keynes Village, commissioned  by MK Gallery

2014-18 Live Neutral Earth, public art scheme (with Marcus Leadley), Houghton Regis, commissioned by Amey and Central Bedfordshire Council

2013     Collective, participatory event and prints, commissioned by Wysing Corporate Collective

2013     HIGHST, Bedford High Street, commissioned by Mary Portas Pilot and Bedford Creative Arts

2012     Het Huis des Levens, Portland stone public memorial, Groningen (NL), commissioned by Stichting Historisch Joods Groningen

2009     I Will Do Right, United Kingdom Supreme Court, glass entrance screen, Courtroom Two screen and library doors, Parliament Square, London, commissioned by Ministry of Justice

2007     Piped Poetry, stenciled texts, poetry by Year 5, Millbank Primary, Westminster, London, commissioned by Futurecity Ltd and Barratt Homes

2003     Paradise Is, steel/copper structure, signs, planting, lighting, Letchworth Garden City Centenary art commission, commissioned by North Hertfordshire District Council

2003     Running through the blue…, mild steel backlit panels with text by Neil Rollinson, Eastrop Park link tunnel, Basingstoke, commissioned by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

2001     Space/Place, cast stone tables and seats with text submitted by park users, Heigham Park, Norwich, commissioned by Norwich City Council

2000     Return of the Rivers and Spell against Sorrow, modular stone seats with carved text, New Operations Centre, Bath, commissioned by Wessex Water Services Ltd

1999     Lucy in the Sky, mobile, Lucy Cavendish College Library, Cambridge, commissioned by Lucy Cavendish College Roll Committee

1998     Don’t Push Me, seven granite bollards, Cardinal Park, Ipswich, commissioned by       Moore, Piet and Brookes, landscape architects

1998     Witness, bridge parapet, Church Street, Bilston, commissioned by Wolverhampton MBC

1997     State of Rock, cast stone curved benches, Shoreditch Campus, poetry by Benjamin Zephaniah, commissioned by Hackney Community College

1995     Moon Pool, Warwick University, commissioned by Warwick University

1993     Inscriptions on pool edge (T S Eliot) , Victoria Square, Birmingham, commissioned by Birmingham City Council

1990     Portland stone panel and floor slab, Great Peter Street, London, commissioned by Arts Council England


Solo Exhibitions

2018     Near Holme, Call Your Home Poetic, MKGallery project space, Milton Keynes

2015     Counting In A Different Language, Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

2011     Material Response, Ipswich Art School Gallery, Ipswich

2006     If Ever You’re in the Area, The Naze Tower, Walton-on-Naze

2005     If Ever You’re in the Area, firstsite @ the Minories, Colchester


Selected Group Exhibitions (2000 onwards)

2022     Infection, Syllabus VI and Spam Press, Good Press, Glasgow

2015     Expanded Studio Project, Primary, Nottingham & Aid&Abet, Cambridge

2012     Roaming, Aid&Abet, Cambridge

2012     Poetry, Language, Code, Ruskin Gallery, ARU, Cambridge (curated by Bronac Ferran)

2011     Invisible Dust, Science Festival, Cambridge (curated by Alice Sharp)

2011     The Tyranny of Grammar, Fishmarket Gallery, Northampton (curated by Catherine Hemelryk)

2010     Late Shift, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich

2010     Pulse 10 Fringe Festival, The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

2010     Salon Video Art Prize, Matt Roberts Arts, London

2010     Wysing Arts Contemporary Presents, Wysing Arts Centre, Bourn

2003     Making it East, firstsite, Colchester

2003     Out There, Craft Outside, Crafts Council Gallery, London

1998     The Art of Remembering, Blickling Hall, The National Trust and Memorials by Artists

1997     William Morris Revisited, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

1996     Words Revealed, MAC, Birmingham


Residencies / Awards

2021     ACE DYCP Grant

2019     ACE Project Grant (with Lucy Sheerman) for Even You Song Tour of East Anglia

2015-17 ACE Grant for the Arts Award (with Lucy Sheerman) for Even You Song

2014-17 Time and Space Residency (with Lucy Sheerman), Metal, Peterborough

2013     Cambridge Sustainability Residency, Sustainability Institute and School of Art, ARU

2010-12 ACE Grants for the Arts Award (with Roam collective) for Roaming

2011     Eastern Exchanges/London Olympiad 2012, Material Response, International exchange residency, Nassau, Bahamas

2009     Escalator Visual Arts Retreat, Wysing Arts Centre, Bourn

2008     Space for 10 residency, Kettle’s yard, Cambridge (The Arthouse, Wakefield)

2004-06 ACE Grants for the Arts for If Ever You’re in the Area



2022     Infection, Collaboration Syllabus VI/Spam Press publication

2018     Near Holme, Call Your Home Poetic, project pamphlet with essay by Fiona Boundy

2017     Hard Werken, One For All, Graphic art and design 1979-1993, Ian Horton & Bettina Furnée, Valiz, Amsterdam

2017     Even You Song, CD, music Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Peterborough Cathedral choir, First Hand Records

2017     Neutral Earth Live, CD, three sound compositions (sound artist Marcus Leadley)

2013     Oral History in the Visual Arts, Eds. Linda Sandino and Matthew Partington, Bloomsbury

2013     Visualise: Making Art in Context, ed. Bronac Ferran, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

2012     Roaming, exhibition pamphlet with essay by Colin Perry

2012     Here’s Luck / Bettina Furnée, ed. Michael McMillan, AND Public, London

2008     Space for 10, The Arthouse, Wakefield

2008     Piped Poetry / Bettina Furnée, Limited edition with DVD, Futurecity, London

2006     If Ever You’re in the Area / Bettina Furnée with essay by Elizabeth Fisher, firstsite, Colchester

1995     Words & Pictures Issue 2, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard