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Gabriella Boyd’s paintings elide the boundary between formal and representational languages, with each canvas occupied by overlapping figurative and structural motifs. Governed by a dreamlike logic, each image is at the threshold of a tangible world and a distant memory. Utilizing a distinct almost uneasy palette of greens, yellows, warm pinks and reds, each painting is anchored by the interrelationship between humans and their environment, hinting at a knowable narrative before evading it. As Boyd puts it, she is interrogating the “space between our physical experience of the world and our mental understanding of it. The meeting of those can be quite clumsy, or complicated, or at odds with each other. In that messy territory I seek out tenderness, humor, discomfort through paint.” Each work articulates a unique mise-en-scène that is reinforced by repeated visual devices, gestures or patterns that appear and reappear. Compositions are often interspersed with lineal forms - crosses, bars, structures - measuring the distance, or closeness, between their inhabitants.

Painting from an urban centre - Boyd focuses on topics of care and attention in a world that increasingly seems devoid of connection. Although we cohabit the city with millions of strangers and share intimate crowded spaces with them daily on the tube, it can never have the same effect of sharing a bedroom with a significant other. A caress differs from a medical swipe only in intention and intensity. It is these magnified relations that cannot be separated from flesh, body, mind, and space that enter an intermingled world of texture, colour, and hypnotic abstraction. Within the visual realm of Boyd’s architectural and pictorial vocabulary are the primordial emotions of human attention, of the necessity of sharing with others and the bonds that make us human.
(Excerpt from Vigilant Space, Àngels Miralda, Mile, November 2022, p. 114)

Gabriella Boyd (b. 1988, Glasgow) lives and works in London. She studied at Glasgow School of Art (2007-2011) and Royal Academy Schools, London (2014-2017). She was shortlisted for the John Moores Painting Prize in 2016, and was commissioned by the Folio Society to illustrate a new edition of Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams in 2015. Her work is held in the permanent collection of the Arts Council Collection (UK); Columbus Museum of Art (US); De Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (US); He Art Museum (CN); Long Museum (CN); The Roberts Institute of Art (UK); Royal Academy of Arts Collection (UK) and Walker Art Gallery Collection (UK).

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