Beth Collar at Standpoint

Artist: Beth Collar

Exhibition title: Seriously

Venue: Standpoint, London, UK

Date: April 21 – May 27, 2017

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Standpoint, London

Seriously is an exhibition of new work by Beth Collar, recipient of the 2016/17 Mark Tanner Sculpture Award, presented here at Standpoint Gallery. Drawn from an ongoing exploration of the furrowed brow as a gendered representation of authoritative thought, the exhibition emerges through a landscape of otherworldly forms. Lit only by the natural light entering the gallery, the works occupy time and the architectural apertures to the outside world. Engaging further dimensions; the works positioning on the gallery floor suggest this grey surface as something imagined beyond its solid concrete reality. A forehead is slowly emerging from a swamp, crowning, like Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now. A half-excavated suit of armour, preserved in earth. An unknown organic lump, stumbled upon.

Taking the forehead as their origin these bodily manifestations of thinking are formed through a material process in which intuition, incoherence and non-knowledge resist the structures of authority in art production. They illustrate an archaeological sequence that traces the evolution and material culture of an alternative, parallel humanoid from an imagined past into a possible future.

Collar works between disciplines. Performances become the basis for sculptures, sculptures depart into video or text, and drawings can emerge through performance. Her practice examines the external forces that meld her personality, alter her desires and guide her behavior. She is interested in the visual languages of systems of power; how the verbal can interact with the physical and through this how histories are exhumed and repurposed. She was born in Cambridge and studied at London Metropolitan University, The Princes Drawing School and The Royal College of Art.

The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award is unique in its combination of offering both financial support towards the production of new work and a solo exhibition to an exceptional sculptor. We seek to reward outstanding and innovative practice in the field of sculpture and are particularly interested in work that demonstrates a commitment to process and materials.

Beth Collar was selected from 207 applicants who applied for The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2017 by a panel comprising Tim Marlow, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy, British artist Hew Locke, Mark Tanner Sculpture Award winner 2015-16 Megan Broadmeadow, and MTSA trustee Rebecca Scott.

Collar’s exhibitions and performances include: A rock that keeps tigers away, group exhibition, Kunstverein München, Munich, July 2017; a performance event and micro residency, Kunstraum, London, June 2017; Plural Melts at Yvonne Lambert, Berlin, 2017; Tall Tales, touring group exhibition and performance, Freud Museum, London, Touchstones Gallery and Museum, Rochdale and Glasgow Women’s Library 2016; Tarantallegra, group exhibition, Hester, New York, July -Aug 2016; Secret Surface, group exhibition, KW, Berlin, Feb-May 2016; 11/50, solo exhibition, Fig-2, ICA, London, March 2015; Probably, Like a Melon Rolling Off a Table: Part II, solo performance for Saturday Live, Serpentine Galleries, London, Jan 2015; Secret Agents, group exhibition, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Sept-Oct 2015; PALIMPSEST, performance collaboration with William Cobbing at Hayward Gallery Project Space, London, 2014; Let’s Make Another Possible Now, group performance event as part of ANTIKNOW at Flat Time House, London, 2014.