Tintype Project Space 2014
Beth Collar’s practice questions the construction of a collective historical consciousness and the desire to commune with pasts both real and imagined. Her performances – sometimes enacted in front of effigies or piles of earth – draw the audience into a vividly drawn narrative, snaking through the violent histories embedded in landscapes such as the East Anglian Fens.
A recurring theme is underneath-ness, a swampy, hidden, submerged underworld, both physical and metaphorical. For Some Chthonic Swamp Experience Collar’s hand became the conveyor or protagonist for a series of works. Wrapping the gallery in large-scale drawings on transparent film, she depicted the hand in the last moment of existence – before being engulfed by a expansive panorama of brown swamp. The swamp acts as a backdrop, setting the scene in a mixture of earth pigments and bodily fluids.