Beth Collar is an artist based in Bristol, her practice questions the construction of a collective historical consciousness and the desire to commune with pasts both real and imagined. Her performances drag the audience into a vividly drawn narrative through the reading aloud of text, often enacted in front of effigies or piles of earth, or while interacting with hand-made props or while performing certain symbolic gestures.
For Tall Tales Beth Collar’s new work, inspired by texts and ephemera held by Glasgow Women’s Library, explores the gender politics of the frown or the furrowed brow in contemporary imagery. Her research manifests as sculptures of women’s faces, carved in Lime wood and finished with cosmetics, which explore this complex expression. Collar is very interested in the repetition or reiteration of painted image on top of sculpted image which occurs in medieval polychrome sculpture and how that could relate to the application of make up and to the depiction, in the media, of the idealised female visage.
In Glasgow, Collar will deliver a specially devised performance piece for Glasgow Women’s Library. Thinking of the performance as an inauguration address or blessing ritual for the library’s new gallery the artist will give voice to some of the more unusual stories she came across while digging into the GWL archive and library. For Beth this performance will see her work come full circle, with the return to Glasgow where she began her journey as artist in residence at Glasgow Women’s Library in late 2014.