I’ve been a fan of Bethany Collins‘ chalkboard and erasure drawings ever since I saw her installation at Boom City, a pop-up art event and installation by Atlanta’s own Dashboard Co-Op. Her vast arrangement of tiny marks is quite similar to my own practice, both in gesture and meaning. She writes:
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.
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.”
The search for meaning and the desire to identify oneself is a universal human inclination, yet always seems so elusive – as if to exist just beyond the horizon we are able to visualize. Drawings, especially those of Collins, act as our identities manifested into visual form. They are transitional, temporal, and perpetually in a state of being drafted.