Thinking Here Of How The Words Formulate Inside My Head As I Am Just Thinking
12 May – 20 June 2018
Beth Collar's Thinking Here Of How The Words Formulate Inside My Head As I Am Just Thinking draws its title from a previous performance by the artist. 'Oh! What A Joy To Be A Beautiful Man Image' , performed at the Glasgow Women's Library in November 2016, took a translated fragment of an autobiographical text by suffragist and pacifist Helena Swanwick as its starting point. A text and audio version of this performance is available below.
Through revisiting and expanding a series of sculptural works Collar extends and develops her on-going exploration of gendered interpretations of classically masculine gestures and expressions. A set of polychromed limewood carvings explore the ambivalent nature of the furrowed brow - a marker of serious thought at odds with a deeply seeded concept of feminine grace and beauty within western culture. Their makeup was applied in collaboration with the makeup artists of the MAC Cosmetics store in the Bristol branch of Debenhams.
Collar seeks to question patriarchal intellectual posturing through her use of 'honest' craft techniques and medieval, intellectually burdened materials. Thinking Here Of How The Words Formulate Inside My Head As I Am Just Thinking is a continuation of Collar's investigation into art-historical tropes that belie sites of power or agency within the image; this manifests formally in concerns with undulating surfaces such as the flowing cloak or the crumpled forehead, and how those surfaces hold meaning and power.
This is the sixth in a series of 10-day shows at 92 Webster Road and Collar's first exhibition at Matt's Gallery.
Beth Collar (b. Cambridge, UK) lives in London and Berlin.
Matt’s Gallery thanks the Arts Council England and Ron Henocq Fine Art for their generous support.