Daniel Boyd’s practice is internationally recognised for its manifold engagement with the colonial history of the Australia-Pacific region. Drawing upon intermingled discourses of science, religion and aesthetics, his work reveals the complexity of perspectives through which political, cultural and personal memory is composed.
Following on from major international projects in 2014 and 2015, Daniel Boyd’s 5th exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery evokes a sense of place much closer to home. Inspired by Edouard Glissant’s Treatise on the Tout-Monde and Poetics of Relation, Boyd devotes his attention to the geographical region surrounding Cairns, QLD. In this, Boyd’s latest exhibition, Far North, provides us with glimpses into an intricate and mediated personal history, which is at once highly specific and globally resonant.
Drawing upon disparate media, including family photographs, archival documentation, scientific studies and touristic memorabilia, the paintings in Far North illuminate the complexities of regional representation. In a tense play between opacity and clarity, figuration and abstraction, the works recall the fragmented and dynamic composition of personal history and narrative. A vibrant and elegant depiction of the artist’s grandmother sits in-between two striking scenes of local people, originally orchestrated by European anthropologists. Stripped-back and gestural works that invoke childhood recollections of Giangurra, allude not only to Boyd’s enduring familial links to the place, but a broader historical and social resistance to the impact of colonial missions in that region.
As different ancestral threads intertwine with contemporary aesthetic references, Far North provides a personal entry point into Boyd’s broader investigations into history, aesthetics and power. Through his distinctive vision and technique, Boyd’s paintings unfurl the authoritative, linear narratives of Western history, connecting to a concept of space and time where past, present and future are intimately entangled.
Daniel Boyd has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally since 2005. Boyd has held solo exhibitions at Artspace in Sydney (2013) and at the Natural History Museum in London (2012). Most recently, Boyd’s work was displayed in All the World’s Futures curated by Okwui Enwezor at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), Regarding Picasso: Contemporary Artists Responses to His Art at the Musée Picasso, Barcelona, the Moscow International Biennale for Young Arts: A Time for Dreams, Moscow, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Whorled Explo¬rations, Kochi, India and the 2014 TarraWarra Biennale: Whisper in My Mask, Tar¬raWarra. In this same year, Boyd received the Bulgari Art Award (2014), as well as two major commissions for Macquarie Bank and the Museum of Contempo¬rary Art in Sydney. Boyd’s work has been included in notable group exhibitions in Australia, such as Future Primitive, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2013), The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT 7), Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Brisbane (2012) and We Call Them Pirates Out Here, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2010).