Bethany Collins

From Montgomery, AL
Lives & works in Atlanta, GA
Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Artist Statement:

I am interested in the unnerving possibility of multiple meanings, dual perceptions, and limitlessness in the seemingly binary. Drawing objects repeatedly allows me to fully understand the object in space, while defining and redefining my own racial landscape.

Racial identity, for me, 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 the combination of objects, this work recalls for me moments in the formation of my racial identity as Black and Biracial. And each re-worked mark is another attempt to navigate the binary paradigm of race in the U.S. South by grasping invisible limitations and grounding myself within the collective African American visual narrative.

Whether black paper drawings, chalkboard erasures or layered vellum paintings, my work continues to evoke a longing for what author Rebecca Walker refers to as "the black outline around my body that everyone else seems to have.”