Bettina Furnee (born 1963, The Hague, Netherlands) has worked independently in England since 1989, developing a site specific and socially engaged art practice. Having trained as a letter cutter, commissioned public art projects have resulted in permanent works as part of the built environment; using text, sculptural form and light. The literary content is often created in collaboration with local communities, poets and writers. For more details on current and previous work see:
"If Ever You’re in the Area" was the first self directed project by Bettina Furnee. Many thanks go to all the friends who were involved. The artists who worked on this project are all a generation away from the events of the second world war, but are interested in its memory and repercussions. On a personal level, this project is a tribute to E.J. Furnee, father of Bettina Furnee, who reached adulthood in German occupied Holland. He avoided national service in the German army by being in hiding, for two years, in the coal bunker in the cellar of his parental home. E.J. Furnee devoted his life to the study of pre-Greek language and etymology.
Special thanks go to writer-collaborators Simon Frazer and Tony Mitton, and to Michelle Nye-Browne (co-director Naze Tower), Dylan Banarse (camera and technical assistance), Sarah Bateman (website design) and video artists Beverley Carpenter and Tim Sidell for their valued assistance. Also to Barry Goillau at Benson Sedgwick Engineering, Clive Sparkes at Go-Glass and signwriter Stuart Emms for their expert productions. I am grateful to Lyndall Phelps for her initial suggestions and to Joanna Simpson and Jane Bhoyroo at ACE, East and Laura Earley, Annabel Lucas, Kim McAvoy and Katherine Wood at firstsite for their phenomenal support of the entire project and to Elizabeth Fisher for her insightful essay for the publication. I am endebted to John Fell-Clark, Peter Mann, Brian Foster, Liz Mark and all those who shared their memories of wartime Bawdsey, for their roles in Lines of Defence at East Lane, Bawdsey, in 2005. Big thanks go to Tony O'Neil, Mike Barrington, Tony Haggis, Maritime Volunteer Service, Walton, Felixstowe and Harwich Units Sea Cadets, Principality of Sealand and the people of Walton who gave their time, recollections and resources to help create Lines of Approach at the Naze Tower, Walton-on-the-Naze, in 2006. Big kiss for Ian, Oscar and Sasha for their help and encouragement.
Simon Frazer has lived near the Suffolk coast since 1986. He was born on the Isle of Wight in 1944.
www.bbc.co.uk/ww2, a growing archive of war time memories