Beth Collar works in performance and sculpture; carved clay and wood. Centered around human forms in their inhabited times. She explores the seamless absorption of architecture, distance, memory into a convoluted reaction. She unravels cultural norms: Medieval religions, patriarchal desensitization, loneliness to present essential forms.
Collar’s early sculptures are mostly of unfired clay; seen in 2017: Daddy with Upset Tummy and Seriously. Physical expression of a mental state is a theme throughout Collar’s practice. Seriously begins an ongoing inquiry into thought and its origin. What does one recognize in a familiar thing or presence?
In 2018, Collar showed a series of wood-carved masks, Thinking Here of How The Words Formulate Inside My Head As I Am Just Thinking. This title, meditative on epistemology and ontology, introduces self - portraits layered with cosmetics. Beth considers modernity’s dependence on the past as a talisman during its acceleration.
In 2019, Daddy Issues is a Medieval scene of limbs, skeletons and stumps in a church, inspired by Niccolò dell’Arca’s Lamentation over Dead Christ, 1463; composed of six terra-cotta sculptures forming a theatrical semi-circle around a lain Christ. At his feet, stands Mary Magdalene, bracing herself against billowing waves of distress. The three male figures are solemn amidst hysterical women. Such a surrender to emotion is negated as effeminate, and sublimates into violence; the graphic Christian tradition of anatomy and the crusades. Collar frees her subjects from grief over personal losses and Christ’s absence. Without emotion, these subjects exist only barely. Collar prompts alienation by self-denial. The title nods at a sought-for presence.
In 2021, Collar showed Basher Dowsing at von ammon co. In her return to wood, Collar carved flanks of skin, spurts of blood, and a downward-pointing foot. She interspersed these with long, thin pillars of silence; varying textiles stretched over pine and beech frames to look like altar speakers. The sound of circulation muffles the space; pale in only natural light.
upset tummy thinking at Why Words Now, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, DK, 2021
Doppel, with Jesse Darling, A plus A Gallery, Venice, Italy, 2021
Hip Mobility Drawing (Pelvic Antichrist), 2021
Hip Mobility Drawing (The Demons in the Gemäldegalerie), 2021
Hip Mobility Drawing (Birthday Chute), 2019
Hip Mobility Drawing (Birthday Canal), 2019
Hip Mobility Drawing (Forest Imp Network), 2021
Morning Ritual (Decorative), 2021
Morning Ritual (Rubbish Heap), 2021
Someone Stamps on the Lectern, Not Underneath, 2021
Old and Grey, 2020
Hip Mobility Drawing (Brainiac), 2020
You're Perfect, Yes, It's True, But Without Me You're Only You (Black Death)
You're Perfect, Yes, It's True, But Without Me You're Only You (Self-Flage), 2020
The Sea Monster, The Bear, lítost gallery, Prague, CZ, 2020
Daddy Issues, CGP London, Dilston Grove, London, UK, 2019
Daddy Issues, CGP, Dilston Grove, London, UK, 2019
Tureen in Léopoldine, Sans Titre, Paris, FR, 2018-2019
Thinking Here of How The Words Formulate Inside My Head As I Am Just Thinking, Waldo at Mathew, New York, NY, 2018
No, No, No, No, Cell project space, London, UK, 2018
Seriously, Standpoint, London, UK, 2017
Probably, Like a Melon Rolling off a Table, Part II, performed with Alison Carter, film still by Pierrick Mouton, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK, 2015