Opening reception: Friday, 18 November from 6-8pm
Exhibition dates: 18 November – 17 December 2022
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 1773and 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.
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.