Gabriella Boyd’s paintings are meetings, between forms and colours as much as between recognisable figures. Influenced by psychoanalysis, literature and theatre, the artist seeks to communicate things that are difficult to say or show – how it feels to live in a body, for instance, or the unexpected intimacy of everyday encounters. Boyd’s canvases are built up over long periods of time, often intuitively and in relation to the books, friends and paintings that inhabit her studio. Neither abstract nor wholly legible as part of our world, her work acts as a dreamlike stage upon which the viewer can form their own associations.
Blessing iii, 2020, shows a figure on a bed, with red lungs burning through their chest and legs dissolving into the sheets. It could be a sick patient confined to the home, a ready image during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the picture was made before the virus reached the UK. Read another way, it shows a stubborn refusal to move, a protectiveness over personal space as the figure wields a ray-gun (or hairdryer) from their bed. At once cosy and claustrophobic, this imagined interior space speaks of the intensity of life at home, by way of bold shapes and vivid colours.
- Artwork Details: 50 x 70cm
- Material description: Oil on canvas
- Credit line: © the artist. Image courtesy of the artist
- Medium: Painting
- Accession number: ACC27/2020