Beth Emily Richards an artist-researcher investigating contemporary myth-making, often exploring popular culture and its associated idiosyncratic subcultures. The historical narratives that I explore often relate to notions of the performer, macho and the absurd. I employ strategies of ‘failure’, changes of scale, and an embracing of historical inaccuracy to disrupt expectations and hegemonies in a playful way. Past works have engaged with personae such as Harry Houdini, Robert Falcon Scott, Francis Drake, Arnold Schwarzenegger and William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody; as well as with social trends such as ‘tombstoning’ (teenagers jumping off cliffs into the sea), Mexican telenovelas, ‘80s-‘90s action films, roller derby, Western movies, scouting, and motivational speaking. The narrative explored determines the outcome of the work: photographs, text, events and actions, performances to camera, sound works and props subvert personal, sited and fictive histories.
My practice also addresses the veracity of the archive, particularly the role of lens-based media and documentation in live artworks. Beth graduated with an MRes in Theatre and Performance from Plymouth University in 2014, having previously completed her BA in Photography at Camberwell College of Arts (2009).
Recent exhibitions and projects include: Poor Copy (Solo Exhibition) at Jerwood Visual Arts, Exeter Phoenix & The Northern Charter (London, Exeter & Newcastle, 2018), Unbounded: Contemporary Art Practices in Cornwall (Group Exhibition) at Eden Project (Cornwall, Ancient Scent: A Table Read (Solo Exhibition) at Chisenhale Art Space (London, 2017)