Shary Boyle: The Clearances
1 Sep – 30 Sep 2007

Combining visions of the past with experiences from her time in London, Shary Boyle animates fictitious and factual narratives, incorporating them into a mural, painted and cut-out figures and superimposed projections of light.

Borrowing the title from a bitter period of 19th century Scottish resettlement the exhibition The Clearances is a construction of visual mythology based upon historical collisions of power and culture. Combining visions of the past with experiences from her time in London, Shary Boyle animates fictitious and factual narratives, incorporating them into a mural, painted and cut-out figures and superimposed projections of light.

The Clearances depicts folklore characters, colonised peoples and brute forces of power engaged in an infinite march of erasure. By inventing a spectacle of history that negates collective reality, Boyle illustrates the slippage that occurs when worlds, imagination and perspectives collide. Working on multiple layers, the dramatically lit installation stages a theatrical display referencing educational dioramas and children’s imagery. The Clearances is a result of three sources of inspiration for Boyle: The Four Kings show at the National Portrait Gallery, the New Worlds show at the British Museum and the Marks and Spencer’s advert of Myleene Klass emerging from the sea, clad in a white bikini.

Shary Boyle is a Toronto-based artist whose work addresses history and how it is perceived through various media including drawing, painting, sculpture and performance. Working with international musicians such as Christine Fellows (Canada), Es (Finland), Feist (Paris) and Peaches (Berlin), Boyle creates ‘live’ drawings hand-animated screen projections displayed during unique audio-visual performances to diverse audiences around the world. Her feminist sculptural series of porcelain figurines, created for a 2006 solo exhibition, has been acquired for permanent collection by National Gallery of Canada, the Musee des Beaux Arts in Montreal, the Paisley Museum of Art in Scotland and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

The Clearances is showing at SPACE alongside The Goldfinger Project by Arni Haraldsson.
Both exhibitions have been supported and funded by Canada Council for the Arts.