‘ADRAGA 1/19’ was exhibited in the group show ‘Mountains become islands’ at Dominik Mersch Gallery in 2019. This arresting four-panel photographic work focuses on an impenetrable rock within a swell off the coast of Portugal. Beard’s work often explores the juncture between the sea and the horizon, capturing shifts in light around a rock off the coast that becomes almost abstracted in its density. His fascination with this same site spans decades and formed the basis of his solo show ‘After Adraga’ at the Tate, St Ives, in the UK.
I was on the cliff and I saw this incredible rock in the sea: a pyramid in the sea, an equilateral triangle. I found a motif that I knew I would return to – it was always going to be there. The rock had an impregnable majesty, a lifeless finality animated and metamorphosed through light. The light revealed the energy and force of the sea – an orchestration of submission and reaffirmation.
Beard’s work has been exhibited worldwide and has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Tate St Ives in the UK, The Gulbenkian Centro de Arte Moderna in Lisbon, Kunsthalle Darmstadt in Germany, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia. ‘Wanretganui Heads’ was selected to represent the year ‘1998’ in The London National Portrait Gallery’s ‘Painting the Century: 101 Portrait Masterpieces 1900-2000′. Notably, he has been awarded the Pollock-Krasner Award (New York) and has won both the AGNSW’s Wynne Prize and Archibald Prize.