Bethany Collins, originally from Montgomery, Alabama, is a multimedia Atlanta based artist. Her work has been featured in exhibitions across the Southeast including From Cosmology to Neurology and Back Again at Whitespace Gallery in Atlanta, GA; Southern Art at the Welch Gallery; Pre-Emergent at Aqua Art in Miami, FL; and Pulp at Beta Pictoris Galley in Birmingham, AL. Prior to returning to the Southeast to pursue her MFA from Georgia State University, Collins was the Public Art Coordinator for Working Classroom, a contemporary arts organization in Albuquerque, NM.
I am interested in the unnerving possibility of multiple meanings, dual perceptions, and limitlessness in the seemingly binary. Drawing repeatedly allows me to fully understand objects in space, while defining and redefining my own racial landscape.
For me, racial identity has neither been instantly formed nor conjured in isolation. Rather, identity entangles memory: actual and revisited, cultural and historical, individual and collective. Through the dissolution of dichotomies and exploration of language, this work recalls moments in the formation of my racial identity as Black and Biracial. And each re-worked mark is yet another attempt to navigate the binary paradigm of race in the American South by grasping invisible limitations and grounding myself within the collective African American visual narrative.
White Noise, my language-based series, begins with unsettling statements or probing questions and eventually ends with equally unsettled compositions of chalk on chalkboard. Through a slow and tediously deconstructive process, the resulting textual forms resemble the destructive path of a bomb, a cloud of hovering chalk dust, an astrological occurrence, or possibly a field of white noise.
As with my entire body of work, White Noise continues to evoke a longing for what author Rebecca Walker refers to in her autobiography as “a memory that can remind me at all times of who I definitely am…the black outline around my body that everyone else seems to have.”