A BOYD IN THE HAND
January 24, 2014
It’s been Daniel Boyd’s week! On Tuesday night, the thirty-something artist was part of an epic sight and sound collaboration with electro duo Canyons at the Opera House. Titled HIVE, it was a truly moving and at times frankly thrilling multimedia performance in which the Aboriginal artist’s nouveau dottilism was not just the backdrop, but the very essence of the piece. Major! Then, at Rosyln Oxley’s gallery last night, he unveiled ‘Pineapples in the Pacific’, a very excellent collection of wall works. I became aware of Boyd’s work just over a year ago, and have been following him with interest ever since. He’s part of the next generation of ‘indigenous’ artists, a loose posse of artists who explore their aboriginality beyond notions of national identity or defeatists politics. Born in Cairns, his great-great-grandfather was from Pentecost Island, part of what is now Vanuatu, and this international otherness underscores much of his work. Yes, he uses the ‘dot’ motif in an almost promiscuous manner, but he treats this leitmotif was a metaphor – the dots as lens, a way of seeing (or perhaps of veiling and unveiling) the world. Technically, paints on canvas then puts dots over top in clear glue which he then coats in black paint which is subsequently rubbed off. What remains is a tactile canvas, an almost eerily evocative frottage. These particular ‘pineapples’ are perhaps a reference to Gaugin’s female figures, some of whom he appropriates here. Either way, it is a must see!