11 - 26 August 2023
about the exhibition
Esteemed Canberra artist Robert Boynes is a consummate master of both technique and observation. His works are derived from intimate moments, urban streetscapes and global events yet always with an emphasis on the human condition. This exhibition is an extension of themes and first hand experiences that have preoccupied the artist over the years. As Robert says, “These issues are always abstract in their origin – disquiet, fear, love, etc. They find form through sourcing an image or a physical material gesture that helps me realise a work…Silver Thread is the title of this show, which assists me to deal with the weight of some works and the delicate nature of others. This allows the materials themselves to be the bond – for example, the heaviness of ‘The taste of lead on his tongue’, stretching to the soft eroticism of the ‘Silver shower – quiet moment’ “. Robert uses multiple processes to create his work allowing the painting to emerge over many layers. He likens his camera to an artist’s sketchbook where he captures moments of interest in real time for later use in the studio. This raw imagery is manipulated using silk screen techniques and hand painting where washes of paint are applied and scraped back. Robert often combines various panels that allow him to explore the contrasts of light, shadow, shape and colour within his compositions. He is a master at constructing works full of atmosphere and emotion, at times, intimate and soft, sometimes frenetic and potent. These paintings stay with us as flashes of memory, like rapid bursts of light that resonate after the eyes are closed.
Born in Adelaide, Robert studied at the South Australian School of Art in the early 1960s and began teaching in 1964. He was Head of Painting at the Canberra School of Art for 27 years and is currently Adjunct Associate Professor at the ANU School of Art. Robert has an extensive exhibition history and has had over 60 solo shows across Australia, the UK and USA. In 2017, the Drill Hall Gallery at the Australian National University held an extensive survey show of his work displaying the expanse of his practice. In 2018, Robert was awarded, Canberra Visual Artist of the Year and in 2012 he received the Capital Arts Patrons’ Organisation (CAPO) Fellowship award. His work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia as well as all Australian State Galleries, Parliament House, Artbank, Canberra Museum and Gallery and ACT Legislative Assembly.