27 November 2013 § 1 Comment
Gabriella Boyd is a young London-based artist who graduated from Glasgow school of Art in 2011. Her canvases, which are frequently very large, are boldly and colourful, painted in broad strokes where a vivid orange, bright red, forest green and sharp yellow compete. A single colour may dominate flat, large areas and contrast sharply with adjacent colour fields. They are very pleasing to the eye.
The seeming ease of their production is deceptive however. Boyd’s paintings stand between the light and playful and something more disturbing. Melancholic or erotic undercurrents are balanced with an overt playfulness presented through these bold patterns and colours.
Depicted in her works are fictional and very theatrical spaces. Often they seem to be rooms but usually are much more ambiguous or undefined spaces which are often subdivided – separated by shutters, windows, tables or walls. In this dreamlike setting occasional figures – or should we call them characters – pass by or perhaps linger in the background. We may just see a ponytail, a back, head, legs or a hand.
If we see a face it is usually enigmatic – it could be partial, glancing sidelong at us or looking out of shot. If more than one appears each seem oblivious to the other existence. Are these figures in the same time or space or just lost in the landscape of their own thoughts?
There is an overwhelming feeling of unease. Something has just happened or is about to happen – there is tension in the air. These invented interiors play with the boundaries of literal, psychological and formal space. Nothing is fixed and we are free to drift within the dramas being played out on these canvas sets. The characters are exposed to us, their private lies played out in front of us. Props within the images invite actions – a hoop to be jumped through (!), a melon to be eaten, a plate to be filled.
This is a talent to look out for but one that has not slipped past unnoticed however. She was a Saatchi New Sensation in 2011, featured in the important Catlin guide and the RA Summer show in 2012, has recently had a solo show at High House Gallery and now working with galleries in Brazil and Belgium.
Her work is bold, attractive and is wonderful to be around – it is hard not to take just one extra glance, just to see if there is a new idea one can extract.
Gabriella Boyd’s work is available from High House Gallery
- Exciting Contemporary Art Arrives in the Cotswolds (akickupthearts.wordpress.com)