Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is pleased to present Daniel Boyd’s third solo exhibition, New Hebrides. Daniel Boyd was born in 1982 in the North Queensland city of Cairns, studied at the National Art School in Canberra and has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally since 2005. Boyd’s work is held in major public collections such as The National Gallery of Australia, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Museum of Natural History in London as well as numerous private collections.
This exhibition presents a series of new paintings depicting historical scenes, landscapes and artefacts relating to Vanuatu (formerly known as New Hebrides), from where Boyd’s descendants originated. Boyd’s paintings appropriate archival photographs and drawings to reinterpret historical situations and events.
Boyd’s subject matter is connected through an underlying theme of inheritance, in particular the inheritance of primitivism and its influence on Modernist aesthetics. The paintings in New Hebrides reference Matisse and Picasso and their interest in ‘primitive’ visual cultures. Boyd’s work aims to shift perspective to an Indigenous point of view in an attempt to question the predominant Anglo-Saxon representation of significant Australian historical encounters. In drawing from Boyd’s own personal journey of his Indigenous ancestry, he revisits forgotten histories by examining British archives that document interactions between British colonials and Indigenous inhabitants.
These paintings employ a technique derivative of Indigenous dot painting through the use of numerous small transparent dots over a dark canvas. Boyd describes each dot as a kind of lens, each lens representing a different perspective and point of view to the same situation at different times.
This year marks the 150th anniversary since the slave trade commenced transporting men, women and children from the South Sea Islands to work on the sugarcane fields of far North Queensland. This act was known as ‘blackbirding’ and Boyd’s great great grandfather, Samuel Pentacost, was one of those men. The portrait standing on the left wall of the gallery in this exhibition is Boyd’s great grandfather Harry Mossman, the son of Pentacost. Boyd’s paintings present cultural appropriations of colonial photographs that unfold a culturally different perspective of the South Sea Islander slave trade between Vanuatu and Australia.
Earlier this year Artspace, Sydney held Boyd’s solo exhibition History is Made at Night, previous to this exhibition Daniel Boyd presented The Transit of Venus, at Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney. In 2012 Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery presented Daniel Boyd’s solo exhibition titled A Darker Shade of Dark, Boyd was selected for the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial held at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. In 2011 Boyd completed a residency at The Natural History Museum, London which followed with a solo exhibition, Up In Smoke Tour. In 2007 Boyd was selected for the first National Indigenous Art Triennial, Culture Warriors, curated by Brenda L. Croft at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. This significant show has since toured to the Art Gallery of South Australia (2008), the Art Gallery of Western Australia (2008), the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2009) and the Katzen Arts Center, Washington DC. Other group exhibitions include: Bungaree: The First Australian, Mosman Art Gallery (2012) and Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery (2013); Crossing Cultures, The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, USA (2012); One Caption Hides Another, Betonsalon, Paris, France (2011); We Call Them Pirate Out Here, Museum of Contemporary Art, (2010); Wilderness: Balnaves Contemporary Painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2010); Octopus 9: I forget to forget, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne (2009); Contemporary Australia: Optimism, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Queensland (2008); Lines in the Sand-Botany Bay Stories From 1770, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea (2008); If you see something say something, Gallery 4a, Sydney (2007); Right Here Right Now, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2006); and From the Edge, Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery, and the Ivan Dougherty Gallery, UNSW, Sydney (2006). Boyd’s work is held by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, as well as numerous private collections nationally.