Seriously is an exhibition of new work by Beth Collar for the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2016/17 at Standpoint Gallery. Drawn from an ongoing exploration of the furrowed brow as a gendered representation of authoritative thought, this show takes the form of an otherworldly landscape of objects, placed as if either rising from or sinking into the gallery floor.
Taking the forehead as their origin these bodily manifestations of thinking are formed through a process of making in which intuition, incoherence and non-knowledge resist the structures of authority in art production. Sitting on a dimly lit floor, the objects occupy multiple dimensions: are they slowly emerging from a swamp, crowning, like the forehead of Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now? Or are they half-excavated armor, helmets, fleshed out relics? Or organic lumps; beetles, slugs, octopuses? 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 become a starting point for a video or a text, or drawing becomes the fountainhead of a 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, in how the verbal can interact with the physical and in how histories are exhumed and repurposed. She was born in Cambridge. She studied fine art at London Met, drawing at the Princes Drawing School and Sculpture at the Royal College of Art.
Selected from over 200 applicants from across mainland UK, 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, the exhibition marks the culmination of the year long MTSA award.
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.