April 17, 2014

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is a building I know almost as well as my own home. Amazing then to see it last night, sparkling for the Buglari Art Award dinner in honour of this year’s winner, Daniel Boyd. Boyd’s work is remarkably nuanced, beautiful and haunting – a contemporary indigenous artist, he uses his family’s history to create engaging narratives about the passage of time, the phenomena of memory absence. Most often based on archival photographs, what appear to be pixelated screen prints are in fact a laboriously applied matrix of clear glue dots over charcoal drawings, which are then covered with black paint before being wiped back again – the residual black space between the dots are like the missing pieces of information in memory and history. The prize is worth $80,000 – $50,000 of which goes to the acquistion of a key piece by the artist, the other $30,000 ear-marked for the artist’s trip to Italy and Bulgari’s home town of Rome. If Boyd’s experience is anywhere as mine, traveling through Europe with my mentor, John Coote, he will come back a very different man. Viaggio sicuro, Daniel Boyd, you do us proud!

Author: Nick tobias