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

Introduction

Wall text

Born and raised in Gimuy/Cairns, Daniel Boyd (b1982) now calls Gadigal and Wangal Country, Sydney, home. The softly spoken artist – a Kudjala, Ghungalu, Wangerriburra, Wakka Wakka, Gubbi Gubbi, Kuku Yalanji, Yuggera and Bundjalung man with ni-Vanuatu heritage – burst onto the Australian art scene in 2005 with his No Beard series of appropriated historical portraits. He has since developed a distinctive style of image-making, fragmenting the picture plane with the clear dots, or ‘lenses’, he applies across its surface. While still based on found source material, Boyd’s recent works materially complicate our understanding of perception.

Presented non-chronologically, this exhibition traces the first two decades of Boyd’s illustrious art-making career. Featuring painting, video work and spatial interventions, the following rooms delve into the themes and ideas that have preoccupied and propelled Boyd. Together the works in Daniel Boyd: Treasure Island reveal how Boyd holds a ‘lens’ to history to grapple with the way the past inflects the present and the present inflects the past.

Across 80 works from 60 public and private collections, we see that ideas of legacy and inheritance are woven throughout Boyd’s work. From his pointed references to the brutal legacies of colonisation to his moving tributes to family and the power of cultural survival, Boyd contends with the complex way in which history is handed down.

Daniel Boyd: Treasure Island is accompanied by a richly illustrated publication available for purchase in the Gallery Shop.

Plain English version

Daniel Boyd was born, and grew up in, Gimuy/Cairns. He now lives in Sydney on Gadigal and Wangal Country. He is a Kudjala, Ghungalu, Wangerriburra, Wakka Wakka, Gubbi Gubbi, Kuku Yalanji, Yuggera and Bundjalung man with ni-Vanuatu heritage. Boyd’s art became well-known in 2005 through a painting series called No Beard.   

This exhibition has artworks he made in the first 20 years of his career. Boyd has made paintings, videos and artworks inside building spaces. The artworks are grouped into the themes and ideas that are important to Boyd. This exhibition shows how Boyd understands the present through the past, and how what is happening now affects how he looks at the past. He uses many clear dots that he calls ‘lenses’. These dots help us see his paintings in different ways.  

Boyd refers to the terrible things that still happen today because of ‘colonisation’ – when one group of people takes over another group’s lands and cultures. He pays respect to his family and shows pride that their culture has survived.  

You can buy the book about this exhibition in the Gallery Shop.  

Born and raised in Gimuy/Cairns, Daniel Boyd (b1982) now calls Gadigal and Wangal Country, Sydney, home. The softly spoken artist – a Kudjala, Ghungalu, Wangerriburra, Wakka Wakka, Gubbi Gubbi, Kuku Yalanji, Yuggera and Bundjalung man with ni-Vanuatu heritage – burst onto the Australian art scene in 2005 with his No Beard series of appropriated historical portraits. He has since developed a distinctive style of image-making, fragmenting the picture plane with the clear dots, or ‘lenses’, he applies across its surface. While still based on found source material, Boyd’s recent works materially complicate our understanding of perception.

Presented non-chronologically, this exhibition traces the first two decades of Boyd’s illustrious art-making career. Featuring painting, video work and spatial interventions, the following rooms delve into the themes and ideas that have preoccupied and propelled Boyd. Together the works in Daniel Boyd: Treasure Island reveal how Boyd holds a ‘lens’ to history to grapple with the way the past inflects the present and the present inflects the past.

Across 80 works from 60 public and private collections, we see that ideas of legacy and inheritance are woven throughout Boyd’s work. From his pointed references to the brutal legacies of colonisation to his moving tributes to family and the power of cultural survival, Boyd contends with the complex way in which history is handed down.

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