We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

  • Details

    Places where the work was made
    Sydney New South Wales Australia
    Cairns Queensland Australia
    Cultural origin
    Gangalu/Kudjala/Wakka Wakka/Gubbi Gubbi, North-east region; Kuku Yalanji, East Cape region; Wangerriburra/Bandjalung, South-east region; Ni-Vanuatu heritage
    Media categories
    Mixed media painting , Painting
    Materials used
    oil and archival glue on canvas
    162.5 x 256.5 cm stretcher
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Art Collection Benefactors 2012
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Daniel Boyd

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Daniel Boyd

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Daniel Boyd is among a group of Aboriginal artists interrogating and interrupting the notion of a grand narrative of Australian history. His work comments on the subjugation of Indigenous people and expose injustices of the past from his viewpoint of the present. In 'Untitled' 2012, Boyd explores his personal inheritance presenting an idyllic scene drawn from a found photograph of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. The island was home to his great, great paternal grandfather before he was brought to Queensland to work as a slave in the sugarcane fields. Many South Sea islanders were brought here to support this industry between 1863 and 1904, under controversial recruitment processes. They worked for little pay and often endured harsh conditions. Veiled in transparent dots the view of country is partial, incomplete like the recording of history. Rendered in a reduced palette the work is in stark contrast to typical colourful depictions of a carefree island life. It may be seen to allude to the sadness of events of the past and the personal hurt of this in the present.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Sydney, Cairns

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

    • Dan Rule, Bergit Arends, Jarrod Rawlins, Djon Mundine and Daniel Boyd, Daniel Boyd: The law of closure, Melbourne, 2015, 36-37 (colour illus.), 187 (illus.). p 75 general reference to Boyd's series of works inspired by blackbirding in Vanuatu and his family's history

    • Jill Sykes, Look, 'A winner', pg. 16-18, Sydney, May 2014, 18 (colour illus.).

Other works by Daniel Boyd

See all 11 works