Daniel Boyd next to his Bvlgari Award winning painting. Pic Jenni Carter
Daniel Boyd next to his Bvlgari Award winning painting. Pic Jenni Carter

Prolific artist Daniel Boyd has taken out this year’s Bvlgari Art Award with his magnificent painting UNTITLED 2014. This was announced at a function held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on Tuesday 15th April.

This prestigious award, which includes a $50,000 painting acquisition for the Art Gallery and a residency in Italy valued at $30,000, is selected by the Gallery’s Trustees, its director Dr Michael Brand, and head curator of Australian art Wayne Tunnicliffe.

Bvlgari, famous creators of jewelry founded in Rome in 1884, have sponsored this award for the last three years and have kindly announced their support for the next three years, encouraging new young artists.

Daniel Boyd was born 31 years ago, a Kudjla/Gangalu man from Cairns in far north Queensland.  He studied at the Canberra School of Art and has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally since 2005 with solo exhibitions almost every year.

Boyd’s great, great paternal grandfather was born in Pentecost Island in Vanuatu and later brought to the sugarcane fields in Queensland as a slave.  The many South Sea islanders there received virtually no pay under harsh conditions and little recognition for their contribution.

Boyd’s love of his ancestral history and focus on the ethics of colonisation, have dominated his recent and current work.  UNTITLED 2014 has been created from a small photograph of Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.  Over Boyd’s essentially black and white, oil, pastel and archival glue painting of a family in distant bush, is a veil of transparent dots, giving the effect of history lost.  This invokes an eerie sense of spirituality, which connects us to a time long gone.  It is this need of Boyd’s to reach back through history that gives his paintings such power.  They seem both contemplative and evocative.

UNTITLED 2014 is worth going to the Art Gallery of New South Wales to see and experience.  Congratulations to Daniel Boyd, this award is definitely well deserved.