Beth Collar

Twenty Fifth Anniversary Awards - Shortlisted 2018

Beth Collar’s Live Art practice is preoccupied with authoritative structures and how they manifest in society, using improvisational techniques to expose her subconscious and to “find truths”.

One such structure Collar explores is spoken word, often involving experimentation with bathos and the epic form to examine the influence of media and patriarchal structures, among other things, on her identity. Performances such as Brackish Seas of the Triassic (2013), and Like Valhalla (2013) see Collar “treating objects as agents”, using spoken word to provoke them into action. Conversely, in Hand of Glory (RCA, Jerwood Space, Cubiit; 2012-15) she turns herself into an object, exploring “all of the potential references within a saturated gesture” by recording a live feed of her hand, held in front of the camera for as long as is physically possible.

Between 2015 and 2017 Collar was artist in residence at the University of Bristol where in response to their research project on the The Figure of the Witch she made wooden sculptures exploring the gender politics of the ‘furrowed brow’ in contemporary imagery. Winning the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2016/17 and drawing elements from this work, Collar recently made Seriously, a show involving sculptures which appeared to emerge from an imaginary swamp, illustrating an archaeological sequence tracing the evolution and material culture of an alternative, parallel humanoid.

Beth was nominated byfellow Leah Capaldi