(1920-1999) is one of the most important artists from the post-WWII up until
1956 Signatory to
Antipodean Manifesto, 1971 Britannica
Award, 1979 OBE London UK, 1979 Order of
Australia, 1995 Australian
of the Year.
Arthur BOYD is considered one of Australia’s most significant modern artists.
Arthur Boyd paintings are highly sought after
Drowned Bridegroom fetched
Bride Running Away
$1,680,000 and Sleeping Bride
PHOTO Aniela with the BOYD family and friends. PHOTO: (1997)
ARTHUR BOYD and Aniela.
Aniela was deeply honored to be a friend with the artist.
BOYD regularly visited Galeria Aniela gallery.
The artist enjoyed Aniela's
European charm and
build a fine art gallery outside the metropolitan area
in a paddock.
Bridegroom (1959), Oil and tempera on composition board, signed 'Arthur Boyd'
lower right, 122 x 182.8 cm, Est: $1,600,000-1,900,000, Sotheby's, Important
Australian Art, Sydney, 28/08/2018, Lot No. 20
Bride Running Away (1957)
Oil and tempera on composition board, signed 'Arthur
BOYD' lower left,
91.5 x 121.5 cm, Est: $1,400,000-1,600,000, Sotheby's Australia,
Important Australian Art, Melbourne, 14/08/2012, Lot No. 19
The Frightened Bridegroom (1958)
Oil and tempera on composition board, signed 'Arthur
BOYD' lower right,
61.7 x 63.5 cm, Est: $1,000,000-1,200,000, Sotheby's Australia,
Important Australian & International Art, Sydney, 23/08/2011, Lot No. 14
Dry Creek Bed, Alice Springs (1953-1954)
Oil, tempera and resin on composition board, signed 'Arthur
left, 91.5 x 122 cm, Est: $1,000,000-1,200,000, Sotheby's Australia,
Important Australian Art, Sydney, 08/05/2012, Lot No. 20
Bridegroom Waiting for His Bride to Grow Up
Oil on tempera on board, signed 'Arthur
BOYD' lower right; titled
'Bridegroom waiting for his Bride to Grow Up' on exhibition label
affixed to the reverse, 137.2 x 182.9 cm, Est: $600,000-900,000,
Christies, Australian & International Fine Art, Melbourne, 27/11/2001,
Lot No. 28
Phantom Bride 1958
Oil and tempera on composition board, signed lower right Arthur
162.5 x 139.5 cm, Est: $700,000-900,000, Deutscher~Menzies, Fine Art
Auction, Melbourne, 01/05/2002, Lot No. 26
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the freedom of information we compiled relevant facts for you to enjoy.
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The Melbourne art scene was pulled away from the safe bush scenes began making
social comments through expressive art. Urban hardships were the realities of
the day, and the war brought home surreal experiences. Boyd was conscripted in
1941 and served with the Cartographic Unit until 1944, and Boyd believed that
war and violence are unjustifiable.
Arthur Boyd expressionistic paintings include images of ‘Lovers dreaming of a
Summer Night’ along with painful images of cripples, the dispossessed and the
Arthur Boyd's original, deeply expressive, surreal work is a lasting testament
to Boyd uniquely humanist vision.
usually dispatched within 24
hours, delivery in 3-5 business daysor
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was very young when he become a king and he
followed the good advice of his father King David. However
did not know how to rule and
for Wisdom he wanted to learn how rule his people in a right way. In his dream
he got an answers: ‘Because you have asked for wisdom and not for long life or
riches, I will give you more wisdom than anyone who has ever lived. But I will
also give you what you did not ask for, both riches and glory.
During the 70's Arthur BOYD exhibited Shoalhaven series small paintings at
and Fischer Fine Art London. Fischer went on to become one of the founders of Malborough Fine Art
in 1946. These
oils are now rare highly priced gems, keenly sought after by Australian and
international collectors on the World Art market.
1978, Arthur BOYD permanently settled at his home on the
Over the years, Arthur BOYD befriended the formidable landscape, painting scenes
of the Shoalhaven River and the surrounding bushland. In a second part of BOYD's
painting career from
the late 70’s, BOYD landscape works were based mostly on the Shoalhaven River.
This resulted in a significant series of paintings that are expression of Arthur
BOYD love for Australian landscape.
paintings are not simply landscapes but a fusion of Australian history and the
key in the artist development. The ABC TV & BBC TV co-produced the documentary
film, A Man of Two Worlds, based on BOYD's life and work.
1993, Arthur BOYD gave to the people of Australia the family properties
comprising 1,100 hectares (2,700 acres) at
At the beginning of 1975
Arthur BOYD return to Australia from England,
lived for a year on the banks of the Shoalhaven River in New South Wales. The
paintings in this collection were conceived during that year.
The imagery of landscape echoes BOYD
the subsequent Diana and Actaeon series of 1961.
BOYD began, with the ongoing stimulus of Porter's poetry, to introduce
the moral narrative to the set.
At the same time, in 1976, BOYD work on the Shoalhaven landscape, with its riverbank and
reflecting pools under Pulpit Rock.
In 1984 Arthur and Yvonne BOYD left London to Australia and, more specifically,
to their property Bundanon,
Shoalhaven River. However
BOYD's joy at
re-discovering the Australian landscape was tempered with a distressing
awareness of the careless treatment of the natural environment by reckless and
BOYD was a practical environmentalist who, together with
Sidney Nolan, had fought to stop sand-dredging near Riversdale on the Shoalhaven
The artist is recorded as saying:
"I think Australians have been apt to believe
that because this was such a vast land, they couldn't make a mark on it.
mark has been made and if it continues at this rate, it will soon be too
(Arthur BOYD, cited in J McKenzie, Arthur BOYD Art & Life,
London, 2000, p.169).
Thus while the subject matter of
Bather series followed a long established western art historical tradition, BOYD's rendering of this theme was imbued with both personal and contemporary
environmental concerns, as Hoff noted in the following extract:
"BOYD's NOW in bathers, which had not occupied him since the early fifties
was revived by Cézanne's Bathers in the London, National Gallery.
idyllic and secluded beach, far from the city, which Conder and Streeton had
made popular, is replaced by the beach in the technological age.
speedboats, raucous cries of a hedonistic mob break the calm of nature.
BOYD owes to Cézanne is the considered build-up of the figures into a frieze
The stunning effect of the huge painting rests on the contrast between hot
tints, large forms of a crowd and the beauty of
the natural world.
Above the garish human turmoil rises the impressive, timeless
Luminous cumulus clouds scud across the deep blue sky.
Elwyn Lynn, "the work is the epitome of the creative continuity
of Arthur BOYD's art."
(U Hoff, op.cit, p.81). Curtsey: Sotheby's catalogue, 23
PHOTO: Aniela Kos
and ARTHUR BOYD,
Aniela won the trust of one of the most important Australian
Series of paintings have always
been recognized as outstanding contributions to the Australian
art of their time.
Transcending social issues and cultural
commentary, Arthur BOYD created series of paintings that are
without doubt a key group of paintings in the history of
Australian art and in Arthur BOYD's development as an artist.
This resulted in one of the
most significant series of ‘Shoalhaven
paintings that are not simply landscapes but rather, a fusion of
BOYD's European and Australian backgrounds.
based on the Shoalhaven River
in the series is absolutely
unique. The precise number of Arthur BOYD paintings produced in
the series is unknown nonetheless every painting in each
individual series is unquestionably unique.
During the latter part of BOYD's painting career,
works were based on the Shoalhaven River, the series most prized
by the public.
Oil on Copper
at Australian Galleries (1976) and Fischer Fine Art London
(1977). Now these exquisitely
painted works are rare gems, highly priced and keenly sought after the World Art
Age, 24 July 2010 Google
LOGO 2010 was inspired by Boyd painting 'Shoalhaven at Sunset'
Google reworked the company's logo to
mark Arthur Boyd 90th Birthday as a significant event around the world.
BOYD had a strong relationship with the Shoalhaven River
landscape. The Shoalhaven River was the constant source of
inspiration for BOYD's work. From
the 70’s BOYD painted landscapes on the Shoalhaven River. This
resulted in a significant series of
paintings that are
without doubt a key group of paintings in the
history of Australian art and in BOYD's development as an
artist. There is no precise number of BOYD's works in
series however each
artwork based on the Shoalhaven River
is absolutely unique. In 1979 the
ABC TV and BBC TV co-produced the television documentary film,
built on Arthur BOYD life and
In 1979 the
ABC TV and BBC TV co-produced the television documentary film,
built on Arthur BOYD life and
is one of the most expensive pigments as
the plant cultivation was decreased from 1911.
Available in Oils, Rose Madder is an excellent glazing pigment.
natural organic lake pigment
was first used as a dye for fabrics as the evidence (of its us) can be found in
ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian cloths as far back as 1500 BC. Cloth dyed with
madder root pigment was even found in the tomb of Tutankhamun
Rose Madder is
very distinctive rose coloured
pigment is made from the roots of the madder plant,
The pulverised roots can be dissolved in
which leaves a dye called
name for madder) after drying. Another method of increasing the yield consisted
of dissolving the roots in sulfuric acid after they had been used for dyeing.
This produces a dye called
By treating the pulverized roots with alcohol,
was produced. It contained 40–50 times the amount of
of the roots.The roots contain the acid
By drying, fermenting or a treatment with acids, this is changed to sugar,
which were first isolated by the French chemist
Pierre Jean Robiquet
in 1826. Purpurin is normally not coloured, but is red when dissolved in
alkaline solutions. Mixed with clay and treated with
it gives a brilliant red colourant (madder
Considered one of the best quality natural pigments, it was well sought after
and was brought to Europe by the crusaders.
By the 13th century, it was being cultivated across Europe, notably in the
Netherlands as their sandy soil provided a favourable environment for the plant.
However, the production of madder dye was costly and by
1860, Great Britain was importing madder at the value of £1.25 million a year.
It was necessary to find a better, more reliable method
making of the pigment. The renowned colourist George Field made extensive study
of the madder plant and in 1804 discovered a more efficient process of
extracting the dye and making a stronger, more vibrant pigment. William
understood the importance of George Field’s research and acquired Fields’ notes
and experiments following his death in 1854. These 10 volumes formed a basis of
some of the colour recipes for the then newly founded Winsor & Newton Company.
The production of Rose Madder is still based on the
recipes of George Fields, which
Winsor & Newton
have exclusive access to and remains a unique pigment with varying shades of
rose, browns and purples that cannot be duplicated. Though alizarin (a dye
derived from madder) was later synthesised in the 19th century making it far
more affordable, the two colours should not be compared. Rose Madder retains a
soft depth and richness unlike any other rose available. It
is a transparent pigment with granulating properties.
Madder was employed medicinally in ancient
civilizations and in the middle ages.
in 1597, wrote of it as having been cultivated in many gardens in his day, and
describes its many supposed virtues of
action which madder may possess. Its most remarkable
effect was found to be that of colouring red the
of animals fed upon it, as also the
of birds. This appears to be due to the chemical affinity of
for the colouring matter. This property was used to enable physiologists to
ascertain the manner in which bones develop, and the functions of the various
found in growing bone.
After ten years in Europe where he built his international profile
as a figurative modernist Australian artist, Arthur BOYD and his
family returned to Australia and purchased the famous property at
Bundanon on the Shoalhaven River in 1978.
From that point on, he set
about painting the immense power of the formidable river landscape
– the strength of the land, the river in flood, the passage of
twilight, and the almost heraldic image of Pulpit Rock – generally
imbued with allegorical narratives of the human condition.
Shoalhaven at Sunset
is a jewel-like
(from the period of the artist greatest artistic acclaim), painted with the colours of
the oil paint reflected from an underlying copper surface, giving it
This makes the
sunset colours seem heightened, more sensual, but that would be for
any viewer who had not been to the Shoalhaven and experienced the
intensity of light over the river at sunset. BOYD captures a deeply
spiritual experience philosophically tied to notions of
sustainability: he strove lifelong for the preservation of the bush
landscape for future generations.
BOYD’s sunset image shows a white cockatoo coming alive,
turning, squawking, descending, as day turns to night. It twists high above the
basalt layers of the riverbank.
It is here that the river gums stand above the
waterline, straining for water in days of endless drought. BOYD marks his belief
in the sustainability of this environment with a foreground triangular structure
of rocks and trees, like a strong abiding haven for the descending cockatoo. Professor Peter James Smith BSc (Hons); Msc; M Stats;
MFA; Phd. November 3, 2013
archival oil-on-copper-plate painting technique
been used by artists for hundreds of years with stunning results. Oil-on-copper plate painting
allows superior clarity and
brilliance of colour.
The reason Oil-on-copper-plate
archival because unlike canvas or board, copper plate
painting with a smooth archival surface
assures archival quality
that can be easily restored
painting on copper is a different experience than painting on canvas or board.
The technique exposes artists to many
and the Copper Plate must be
for that reason contemporary artists seldom use
oil-on-copper-plate painting technique.
A master painter
Arthur BOYD 1920-1999 exhibited
oil-on-copper plate paintings in Australian Galleries
Melbourne (1976) and at Fischer Fine Art London (1977). Now these
exquisite oil-on-copper are
highly priced rare gems, keenly sought after by the World Art market
1. Cut Substrate for Copper Plate. To prepare copper plate as an archival
surface, the artist first cut a solid substrate to glue to the back of the
copper plate. This will prevent bending, denting or any other major movement
that would cause the painting to crack. The artist must choose flat,
medium-density fiberboard and cut it to just under the size of the copper plate.
2. Roughen the Back of the Copper
Plate. The artists sands the backside
of the copper plate with coarse sandpaper or scratch grooves into the metal.
This roughening helps the glue adhere to the surface while keeping the
protective plastic on the front of the copper plate.
3. Remove Dust from the Copper Plate.
To further ensure a good bond, the artist cleans off the sanded backside of the
copper with denatured alcohol.
5. Tape the Copper Plate to the
Substrate. To ensure a good bond
between the surfaces the artist tape the board to the copper.
6. Apply Weight to Copper Plate and
Substrate. To ensure that the backing
does not slip to one side or the other while drying. The artist must
not come in contact with the copper plate.
7. Seal the Substrate.
When the glue has set, the artists seals the MDF with a wood sealer to prevent
warping or other damage from water penetration.
8. Sand and Clean the Front of the
Copper Plate. The artists removes the
plastic protection from the front of the copper plate and, while wearing a
particle dust mask and nitrile gloves, sand the surface with fine-grit
sandpaper, taking great care to sand the entire surface thoroughly. If the
artist wants a beveled edge on the copper plate, he sands the edges of the plate
with a file or a block wrapped in sand paper. Once the sanding is completed, the
artist cleans the surface with denatured alcohol and a clean cotton rag or paper
towels. The artists keep clean nitrile gloves on during this process to ensure
that the oils of your skin.
9. Etch the Copper Plate With Garlic
Juice. Once the surface is clean, the
artist may remove the particle dust mask and take the plate into the studio.
Then the artist cut a clove of garlic and rub it’s juice onto the painting
surface or use a brush to apply a thin layer of pure garlic juice onto the
surface. Usually several garlic cloves are required and a razor blade on a plate
nearby so, after covering a few square inches, the artist can slice or reslice a
clove for fresh garlic juice. The garlic juice etches the surface of the copper
and allows for a chemical bond to the lead in your primer and/or the lead in
white; this is in addition to the mechanical bond that sanding alone would
10. Paint on the Prepared Copper
Plate. The artist may paint on the
freshly dried, garlic-juice-rubbed copper surface right away with pure oil paint
or apply primer to create a silky smooth white surface for paint application.
Artist use lead white either when priming the surface of the copper or in the
initial layers of the painting because the lead in the paint will chemically
bond to the copper, further ensuring that the paint will have good adhesion to
If painting directly onto the copper plate, artist covers all areas with paint
as exposed copper will eventually change color.
Then again, painting on
colour from the underlying copper
brilliant intensity of glowing light and its
and making it heightened.
How to Prime a Copper
Plate. Priming is
traditional when painting on copper plate. To do this, the artist
applies two coats of very thin lead-based oil primer to the surface.
The artist must keep these layers smooth and thin by rubbing on a
small amount of the lead primer with the gloved palm of your hand.
If artist wish for a smoother surface, after the primer is dry, can
carefully wet sand the surface with oil and fine-grit sandpaper.
Signed Lower right
Since the 70’s
Arthur BOYD has painted landscapes on the Shoalhaven River. This resulted in a significant
series of Shoalhaven
paintings that are without doubt
a key group of paintings in the history of Australian art and in BOYD's
development as an artist. There is no precise number of BOYD's works in
artwork based on the Shoalhaven River is absolutely
unique. In 1979 the
ABC TV and BBC TV co-produced the television documentary film, built on Arthur
BOYD life and
Arthur BOYD had a strong
relationship with the Shoalhaven River landscape. The Shoalhaven
River was the constant source of inspiration for BOYD's work.
Arthur BOYD has given his beloved home located on the Shoalhaven River
Bundanon to Australian people.
On the background of the Pulpit Rock ‘The Bride’ descends to Shoalhaven River to
The symbolism of water has a universal undertone of ‘purity and
fertility’ and is often viewed as the source of life itself. Symbolically water
means Transformation, Subconscious, Fertilization, Purification, Reflection,
Intuition, Renewal, Blessing, Motion and Life.
The Bride, associated with love,
beauty and fertility is
wearing a 'Necklace'.
The ‘necklace’ symbolizes the beauty and look of wealth.
Necklace is precious Jewels,
that the artist donated to Australia.
Necklace believed to
hold the power and resembles growth and new beginnings. But also, more
for; nurturing and growth, awakening and positive
change. Historically a necklace has cultural significance to commemorate ancestors and honour the stories.
’Bride with Necklace drinking from Shoalhaven River’ is
characteristically BOYD painted with great attention to details and superb tone of colour and texture.
It isone of
BOYD's most beautiful small Brides paintings of the prestigious the
Arthur BOYD had a strong relationship between
the landscape and the Shoalhaven River.
The Shoalhaven River was the constant
source of inspiration for Arthur BOYD's work. In 1993, Arthur BOYD gave his
Bundanon estate on Shoalhaven River in NSW to the nation for the benefit of
presents an opportunity to purchase a museum-quality art of
the World Art Market offers to International and Australians collectors.
usually dispatched within 24
hours, delivery in 3-5 business daysor
Pick Up from Galeria Aniela.
Brilliantly executed, Bride
carry expression of
magical ambiance, and
the voice of
offers an opportunity to purchase museum-quality
art of impeccable provenance.
In 1951 30-year-old Arthur
BOYD travelled to Central Australia
where he witnessed the strained relationships between indigenous
Australians and white Australians. In Persecuted lovers, a
painting from the series Love, Marriage and Death of a
Half-Caste 1957–58 a rifleman takes aim on two lovers with
silent murderous anticipation.
In 1957, Arthur
BOYD developed his first series of Bride images, known more formally as Love,
Marriage and Death of a Half-caste. The early works in the series had as their
focus the relationship between Australia's white and indigenous occupants. By
the 1960s, however, this earlier political emphasis had changed: BOYD's
attention was fixed more on the subject of the bride in the landscape.
In his 1960s images, BOYD frequently combined the motif of a bride drinking from
a river with another favoured visual trope "the diagonally plunging figure with
the bridal gown flared-out and bell-shaped there is a play with the poetic
ambivalence of metaphoric associations: the drinking bride is insect-like, as is
the washing figure, not spider now but rather dragonfly or butterfly, a white
bridal insect lost and watched in wild solitude." (F. Phillipp, Arthur BOYD,
London, 1967, p.100).
The bride's appearance in Bride on the Shoalhaven is reminiscent of these works
from the 1960s, particularly Bride Drinking from a Pool. Nevertheless, in Bride
on the Shoalhaven, painted in the mid-1980s, the wild solitude of BOYD's 1960s
landscape has lightened, becoming less embedding of the figure it surrounds: a
shift perhaps prompted by BOYD's acquisition of his beloved Bundanon.
The artist first visited Bundanon, a property located on the Shoalhaven River on
the south coast of New South Wales, in 1971. BOYD felt an immediate affinity
with the area and in 1973 purchased the nearby property of Riversdale,
subsequently acquiring Bundanon in 1979.
The canvas follows a format familiar to
BOYD's Shoalhaven paintings of the
mid-1970s, with the surface broken up into horizontal bands containing cobalt
blue sky, the steep slope of the riverbank and the river. The disparate elements
are linked by both the textural application of the paint, as well as the immense
figure of the bride, who swoops, bird-like, into the water. Her vertical
movement is replicated by the trunks of the trees, which divide the canvas by
stripes of white, grey and taupe.
The Best of BOYD Exhibition coup the front page Sydney Moring Herald, Sydney, NSW Australia
offers buyers an opportunity to purchase top-quality
art of impeccable provenance
BOYD had an intimate knowledge of the landscape that he painted, acquired
through both living and working in the area. Furthermore, his prolific
production of small Shoalhaven landscapes on copper, which were characterised by
precision and detail, helped to imbue his larger scale paintings with a delicacy
and lightness of touch. By the late 1980s, the Shoalhaven was the source of
inspiration for much of BOYD's work, but this did not result in the artist
abandoning his earlier imagery and themes. Exemplified by Bride on the
Shoalhaven, BOYD unites the mystical figure of the bride with the exquisite
In the painted
world of Arthur BOYD's imagining, "people are suspended between worlds, or
states of being, between the pitiless forces of nature and the god-like grace of
being human, between hostility and serenity, participation and voyeurism, love
and lust and so on" (B. Pearce, "Arthur BOYD", Australian Painters of the
Twentieth Century, Sydney, 2000, p.149).
BOYD moved with
his family to London late in 1959. There, his exposure to the works of Piero di
Cosimo and Titian broadened the artist's horizons, enabling him to tap into a
wellspring of mythological and symbolic currents that would continue to shape
his art for the rest of his life. This attraction to the mythological did not
distract BOYD from the course he had set as an artist during the previous thirty
years in Australia: rather, it would imbue much of his art from this time on
with a dramatic darkness and resonance.
Bride with her Lover exemplifies the artist's new-found expressiveness, taking
the theme of the Bride, which originated in the late 1950s as a symbol of his
horror at the living conditions of Aboriginal Australians, and transforming her
into a universal figure. In the case of Bride with her Lover, the universality
of the Bride seems, as in a related work Double Nude II "to have grown out of
the (ex-) half-caste lovers of 1960: bared of clothes as of the last vestiges of
the original 'story' the united lovers have turned into a 'joined figure' - to
use a BOYDian title- suggestive perhaps of the bisexual oneness of the platonic
myth, but stated with characteristic literalness. The spectrum of meaning may
run from love-death, the re-entering of an eternal cycle, to narcissistic doom."
(F. Philipp, Arthur BOYD, London, 1967, p.96).
The eternality of the scene is not only to be found in the symbiotic melding of
the two central figures, but also their dissolution into the surrounding
landscape. The groom's body is given substance only through his eyes, the
fingers of his left hand, and a swathe of black curls, highlighted with sweeps
of white paint, which tumble around his face. Otherwise, his body disappears
into the forest floor, made insubstantial below and hidden from above by the
bride's wedding gown and veil. Although given greater substance, the bride, too,
melds into the forest, white swathes of paint in her veil turning to the blue of
the background hill, her skirt dissolving into the trees on the left. A crow
observes the couple from a tree, a reminder again of the eternal cycle of love
Arthur BOYD visited the desert regions of Central Australia in 1951, he could
hardly have imagined that paintings resulting from that experience would, within
the decade, be shown in a London gallery; purchased by Australian, British and
American collectors; and become the basis of his international recognition. His
work is now represented in the Australian national and all state galleries and
his 'Bride' series, which includes Bride walking in a Creek I, is ranked among
his greatest achievements.
Born in 1920 in Melbourne,
into a dynasty of artists, Arthur BOYD enrolled intermittently at the National
Gallery of Victoria's art school during the 1930s, he learnt primarily from his
family and their wider intellectual circle in Melbourne: painting techniques,
art history, biblical history and an intense emotional engagement with news
brought from Europe by immigrant friends.
was deeply moved by stories of
displacement and dispossession. Austrian-born fellow artist Josl Bergner had
fled pre-War Europe in 1937. The art historian Franz Philipp, an early supporter
of BOYD's work, arrived in Australia aboard the prison ship Dunera: one of over
2000 German and Austrian interns sent from Britain in 1940. BOYD himself served
briefly and unhappily in the Australian army during the Second World War.
as his biographer Barry Pearce explains, BOYD found in the Aboriginal
settlements near Alice Springs, in Central Australia, a race of displaced
people, caught between two cultures, 'and the implication in it of something
universal'. He saw and sketched shanty towns, shearers, tribes people, and
witnessed an Aboriginal marriage with 'half-caste' women dressed in wedding
Although profoundly dismayed by the plight of the Aboriginal people he
met in the Northern Territor and aware that this was a contemporary tragedy unknown to most urban
Australians, BOYD was not known in making a social-realist record. Rather, he
took the idea of a half-caste groom wooing a half-caste bride, worked it into a
series of large scale paintings and constructed a kind of ballad or a 'passion
play about the tribulations associated with the pursuit of love'.
BOYD called his Bride series 'Love,
marriage and death of a half-caste'.
In the earliest paintings, first exhibited in Melbourne in 1958, there is clear
reference to the arid landscape around Alice Springs. Floating figures, posies
of flowers and a blue-faced Aboriginal groomsman deliberately call Chagall to
mind. However, here in Bride walking in a Creek I, the background is more
verdant, the pigments densely worked into a setting for a haunting dream of love
included Bride walking in a Creek in the now iconic 1959 exhibition of the
'Antipodeans': the manifesto of Melbourne's leading young artists upholding
figurative expressionism in avant-garde art. This was also one of the paintings
BOYD took with him when he and his family sailed for Europe at the end of that
year and was included in his first London one-man show at the Zwemmer Gallery.