Nathan Beard is a multidisciplinary artist based in Perth/Boorloo who draws from his Australian-Thai heritage to unpack the slippery influences of culture, memory and authenticity. Beard adapts intimate exchanges with family and archives alongside broader cultural signifiers of ‘Thai-ness’ to generate visually extravagant and idiosyncratic slippages of identity across mediums including sculpture and photography. By asking what it means to inherit a nuanced relationship to a culture which you are also inherently distanced from through a range of biographic and geographic circumstances, Beard’s work offers a uniquely queer and personal articulation of the complexities surrounding diasporic identity.
Recent exhibitions include White Gilt 2.0, Firstdraft, NSW (2020), White Gilt, Cool Change Contemporary, WA (2019), A dense intimacy, Bus Projects, VIC (2019), Siamese Smize, Turner Galleries, WA (2018) and WA Focus: Nathan Beard, Art Gallery of Western Australia, WA (2017) In 2017 Beard participated in the 4A Beijing Studio Program and is confirmed to be undertaking the Australia Council Residency at ACME Studios, London in 2022. Beard has been a finalist in the Ramsay Art Prize (2021), Churchie National Emerging Art Prize (2020) John Stringer Prize (2017), and Fremantle Art Centre Print Award (2015, 2016, Highly Commended 2017, 2018).
What does Hatched mean to you?’
My Hatched experience was a significant one because it elevated my work straight out of university. It gave context and legitimacy to the fruits of my labour within the walls of an institutional setting, and situated my work alongside a nationwide cohort of peers. Encouragement like this helped galvanise the decision to continue pursuing my practice. If it weren’t for the exposure or networking generated through Hatched, my student work wouldn’t have been written about in Runway Journal, and I wouldn’t have sought out opportunities through the 4A Centre of Contemporary Asian Art. Seeds of my early career momentum were sowed under this temporary spotlight, so it’s been great to see the tradition of Hatched grow and adapt over the years knowing the signal boost it can afford an emerging practice.