Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is delighted to present Tacit Testudo, an exhibition of new paintings by Daniel Boyd.
In this incredible body of new work, acclaimed contemporary artist Daniel Boyd invites us into a space of prismatic reflection where intricately entwined stories of Enlightenment conquests and colonial escapades are brought to life by dappled light and softly obscured images. This soft focus generates windows through which we view the violent impact of the colonial legacy and the ongoing impact of the 18th and 19th century voyages of discovery.
Within this plethora of entwined histories, swimming through a universe of shadow and light, dark matter and light waves, Boyd's lenses provide both a distant viewpoint and a void between what is seen and what is concealed. We discover the mottled figure of famous Tahitian man Omai, who was brought aboard during Cook's second voyage in 1773 and taken to London where he was subsequently painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in the pose of the classical Roman statue Apollo Belvedere and in the robes of an indistinct “exotic” culture. The tacit implications of this central painting in the exhibition coalesce with images from Ancient Greek history, including the myth of Achilles and the hotly contested repatriation of the British Museum's Eligin Marbles. Across the gallery, a spearfisher from Vanuatu in statuesque Achilles-like proportions arches his bow on a balmy island night, launching his arrow across the exhibition space and piercing preconceived ideas surrounding Charles Darwin and his legacy.
The artist's hand deliberately allows us to access portions of his complexly layered trains of thought, yet only for a moment, as the light fades, the story submerges and another narrative swims into view. This is part of the magic and mystery of Boyd's practice: the way he holds us at a certain distance, allowing time to stand still, to reconsider the devastating effects of the global colonial imperative, yet also gifting us with an abundance of aesthetic beauty, philosophical thought and ultimately a glimpse of redemption.
BANK TO BANK – SPLENDĒRE VITRO
Etiolated authorship sprouting dusty day censorship
Daylight frank hank remanent
Why is Achilles doing this
Floating world enchantment still oozes
The bigger the breeze
The harder it chooses
At a pinch a finch blows
The higher it blows
The stronger it flows
Foundation fatigue shaves mountains and slows
Advancing haptic static
So when you shoot the arrow at the fish aim below the tail
–Daniel Boyd, 2022
Daniel Boyd’s curatorially and critically acclaimed survey show Daniel Boyd: Treasure Island opened at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in June 2022, featuring more than 80 works from across his nearly two-decade career. In 2023, Boyd will present his first comprehensive solo exhibition in Europe at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin.
Boyd presented a major solo exhibition Daniel Boyd: Bitter Sweet at Cairns Regional Gallery, Queensland in 2017. In 2016, he was awarded an International Studio and Curatorial Program Residency in New York. In 2014, he became the first indigenous Australian to win the prestigious Bulgari Art Award. Boyd was also recipient of four major commissions for Macquarie Bank (2014); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2014); the Australian War Memorial, Canberra (2018); and Lendlease for the Circular Quay precinct, a collaboration between Boyd and Sir David Adjaye, to be completed in late-2022.
Boyd has been exhibiting in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Australia and overseas since 2005. Recent notable exhibitions include DO WE DREAM UNDER THE SAME SKY?, Okayama Art Summit, Okayama, Japan (2022); This language that is every stone, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2022); Dingo Project, curated by Djon Mundine, Ngununggula Southern Highlands Regional Gallery, Bowral (2022); UN/LEARNING AUSTRALIA, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul (2021); Superblue Miami, Florida (2021); In Between, Australian Pavilion, 17th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2021); Close Contact, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2021); Divided Worlds, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2018); A BEAST, A GOD, AND A LINE, curated by Cosmin Costinas, Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2018); Mondialité, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Asad Raza, Boghossian Foundation, Villa Empain, Brussels (2017); The future is already here - its just not evenly distributed, curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, 20th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (2016); and All the Worlds Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor, 56th Venice Biennale, Venice (2015).
Boyd's paintings are held in numerous major public collections in Australia including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns; TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria, as well as notable international collections such as the Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh and the Kadist Collection, Paris.
Daniel Boyd has been represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery since 2009.