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Canberra Today 9°/12° | Friday, May 24, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Boynes brings the everyday into focus

Robert Boynes, “Leaving a trace,” triptych, acrylic on board

Art / “Silver Thread Paintings”, Robert Boynes. At Beaver Galleries, to August 26. Reviewed by ROB KENNEDY.

FLASHES of memory in urban landscapes peopled with poetic images and ideas fill the latest Robert Boynes exhibition.

A refined technique through close observation instilled with visual thoughts on the human condition is reflected in every work in this alluring exhibition.

Ghost-like human figures move and react to the life around them in their streetscapes and homes. Like each of us, we travel through this world and leave traces of our existence on each other and our environment; is this what these paintings are saying?

Through silk screen techniques and hand painting, each work constructed with a scraped-back expression adds to the mystery. In the triptych “Leaving a trace”, all the elements of the artist’s ideas in this exhibition come together. The distorted human forms, faceless, but on the move, going places and leaving traces of their presence in the memory of others. But captured in acrylic on board with their extended reality for the viewer to contemplate.

Each work is a philosophical statement on how humans affect and relate to one another. As the images in the artworks connect, so too is the viewer. We are left to consider how it is we are seen and what impression we leave on those we interact with.

Robert Boynes, “In two acts”, diptych, acrylic on board

The coloured works such as “In two acts”, a diptych, bring to focus the everyday and the mysteries of how and why we do things.

Why do we look back? Why do we walk past things and notice only what we want to? What are we missing?

Some works are abstract and meant to be that way. There’s a secret meaning hidden within. These are part of the artistic process, but outside of the ideas expressed in the figurative paintings. But they fit into the exhibition, and they complete it with possible new territory, or fill in the gaps that might lay between works.

There is intimacy, too. Scenes of two people in a shower, playful, illusive, loving and connected. Perhaps they ask for more to be revealed than what is on display. Like what happens after, and are they from the painter’s imagination or are they real?

The 21 works in this exhibition make bold and subtle statements, depending on how you want to view them. But each one makes you think; they make you feel.

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Ian Meikle, editor



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