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David BOYD (b.1924; d.2011)

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David Boyd was born the third and youngest son of artists Merric and Doris Boyd in Melbourne in 1924 and studied pottery and painting within the extended artistic Boyd family. 

In 1948, he married Hermia Lloyd-Jones, daughter of graphic artist Herman (Jonah) and Erica Lloyd-Jones, and they introduced a new wave of Australian pottery, devising new glazes and methods of using the wheel to shape sculptural figures. Their three daughters also became potters. 

Although initially acclaimed as a potter, Boyd began his career as a painter in 1957 with a series of paintings on Australian explorers, depicting aborigines as gentle, frightened people not wanting to be deprived of their homeland. This was not a popular concept at the time and provoked a storm of controversy. 

But Boyd remain unmoved. As a humanist, his paintings are full of social comment, showing that there is still a place in Australian art for a moral painter. 

Several major series, including the Trial, the Tasmanian Aborigines, the Wanderer and the Exiles, demonstrate his highly dramatic style with the juxtaposition of innocence and evil. He once said: “I often think of myself as being a spiritual anarchist.” 

In addition to becoming an internationally-recognised figurative painter, ceramic sculptor and potter, he was also an accomplished pianist, having studied at the Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music. 

David Boyd worked and travelled in Europe and the UK, winning significant international recognition, and on his return in the 70s, produced some of his most delightful work, combining angels, aborigines and children dancing through his beloved bush. He became Chairman of the Contemporary Arts Society of Australia and for the next 20 years travelled and exhibited overseas and at home to world acclaim.

 

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