Oscillating for a brief mystical moment, in the form of a wave - her wave -
augments two distant points, a cave and a cave
yamani forged by the kiss of dawar, witness to the archaeologist
that enters a synthesis
the crystal ball is split.
Rainbow Serpent by Daniel Boyd presents an incredible multidisciplinary installation of new works comprising painting, video work, installation and mirror painting that explore the cultural, philosophical, spiritual and scientific relationships to light and dark.
On entering the gallery, Daniel Boyd directs us to a new space, a contemplative grotto if you will.
Enter the cave. Arrive in Boyd’s world: a recalcitrant radiance. In a poetic and exquisite coming together of concepts and mediums, Rainbow Serpent beautifully re-positions our understanding of history through the concept of physical and metaphorical 'light'.
With the repeated motif of ‘dots’, Boyd’s dabs are lenses that give us access to other worlds. We simultaneously visit Enlightenment history, the cave in Plato’s ‘Republic’, the modern world of Caribbean writers Edouard Glissant and Derek Walcott, and Australia’s aboriginal dream time. We arrive, by virtue of time travel, at a simultaneous past/present/future.
Enter the cave. We enter an equilibrium between light and dark: a space of understanding between black and white; the ‘other’ and the ‘enlightened’. Here, the spaces in between come to the fore. The shadows dance. A new story is told.
Enter the cave. Traverse history and prehistory. Seek out the first markings of art; find home in magic and mysticism. Record the past. Bones, fossils and cave paintings provide maps to yesteryear. Quench the thirst for knowledge.
Enter the cave. Time travel to Plato’s ‘Republic’. Like Plato’s prisoners, shadows from the outside become our reality as we are immersed in Boyd’s light filled galaxies and traverse the universe, electromagnetic light waves and dark matter. We ride the rainbow serpent from the stars up high to the rivers below, to arrive at a place where the balance of history is in equilibrium, where cultures listen to each other, where everyone’s story is valid. And what a place indeed.
Softly filtered light shimmers from the window installations across the gallery floor. Light changes at different times of the day, veiled trees sparkle in the afternoon sun with grey, mossy glimpses of the cliff beyond. Light reflects off the gallery walls and glistens like the silvery surface of a serpent, transporting us to new ideas, new realms, where our interpretation of art and history moves at the speed of light waves, web-like, travelling from the heavens above to the watery caverns below.
We are presented with vistas of other worlds, glimpses of the outside and a reflection of the inside, of us. In the cave, we are faced with ourselves and we are forced to revisit our own pasts and to look to our future.
The multiplicity of Rainbow Serpent allows us to gaze at the liminal spaces, the light between dark and the dark between light – the softening of such stark contrasts allows us to revisit painful pasts, to sit in the light of darkness and mend ourselves in the shadows.
— Victoria Scott
Daniel Boyd (b. 1982 Cairns, lives and works in Sydney) was recently included in Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds (2018); The Shape of Things to Come at Buxton Contemporary, Melbourne (2018); the travelling exhibition 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial: Defying Empire, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2018); and A BEAST, A GOD, AND A LINE curated by Cosmin Costinas, Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2018). Boyd also participated in Mondialito, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Asad Raza at the Boghossian Foundation, Villa Empain, Brussels (2017); the 20th Biennale of Sydney: The future is already here - its just not evenly distributed, curated by Stephanie Rosenthal (2016); All the Worlds Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Regarding Picasso: Contemporary Artists Responses to His Art at the Museo Picasso, Barcelona (2014); the Moscow International Biennale for Young Arts: A Time for Dreams, Moscow (2014); the Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Whorled Explorations, Kochi, India (2014); and the 2014 TarraWarra Biennale: Whisper in My Mask, Victoria (2014). Boyd presented a major solo exhibition Daniel Boyd: Bitter Sweet at Cairns Regional Gallery, Queensland in 2017. He also held solo exhibitions at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2016), Artspace, Sydney (2013) and at the Natural History Museum in London (2012). In 2016, Boyd was awarded an International Studio and Curatorial Program Residency, New York. Boyd was also recipient of the Bulgari Art Award in 2014, as well as two major commissions for Macquarie Bank and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Boyd’s work has been included in other notable group exhibitions such as Countercurrents (2017); Adelaide Festival, SAMSTAG Museum of Art, Adelaide (2017); The Shadow Never Lies, Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (2016); Future Primitive, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2013); The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT 7), Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Brisbane (2012); and We Call Them Pirates Out Here, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2010). Boyd’s paintings are held in major public collections in Australia including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns; Gold Coast Ciity Gallery, Queensland; TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria, as well as notable international collections such as the Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh and the Kadist Collection in Paris, France. Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery has been representing Daniel Boyd since 2009.