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


Blind leading the blind



Robert Boynes


1942 –

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    triptych: synthetic polymer paint on canvas, timber
    120.0 x 321.0 cm stretcher overall
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated top c. verso on stretcher [parts a-c], black fibre-tipped pen "... Boynes '15 ...".

    Patrick White Bequest Fund 2015
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Robert Boynes/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Robert Boynes

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Since the mid-1990s, the primary subject of Robert Boynes's paintings have been figures in urban environments. However, in 'Blind leading the blind' 2015 Boynes has returned to addressing political themes in his work. Depicted across three panels is an inverted procession of blindfolded men and women who are presumably the victims of war - surreal scenes that we have become accustomed to in our 24-hour news cycle. In referencing this material Boynes draws attention to our exposure and disposition to such imagery, which he believes has been 'seared into our brains and memory so clearly that we become dumb to their existence' [1]. These images have been screen-printed onto a primed, scrunched canvas, which has later been hosed down with water by the artist. Its textured surface undermines any sense of realism or distinction between the truth of the events and what we perceive via media representation. The title 'Blind leading the blind' is a reference to the plight of the subjects, but also to the collective ignorance of people who knowingly and unknowingly 'turn a blind eye' to reality.

    1. Robert Boynes, In plain sight, Brenda May Gallery, Sydney, 2015, p 3

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Robert Boynes

See all 6 works