Graham Boyd
Bear Garden, 2006

Graham Boyd at The Salt Gallery, St. Ives,
Times and Hayle Echo 22nd Sept. 2006

The Bristol-born and Hertfordshire based-based painter Graham Boyd, now a youthful 78, is showing a group of visually striking recent abstract paintings at the elegant Salt Gallery in Hayle. In concert with Bryan Winter and Bob Crossley Boyd manages to create striking analogies between tactile and abstract paint surfaces and naturalistic imagery.This reconnection between plastic and sensual experience of the everyday world is post-modern in spirit, the hermetic; reduced language of modernist gesture, spontaneous mark and autonomous colour, needing metaphor, symbol and the imaginative world of pictorial space to bring art to life.

Throughout Boyd's long career painting and teaching have cohered, The Watford trained artist placing great emphasis on physical engagement with materials, on thorough craftsmanship and on sharing the plastic disciplines with students and younger artists.He has also participated in international workshops in America and Spain.Well informed and inclusive Boyd is an ideal ambassador who, while a seasoned exhibitor- he enjoyed solo shows at the AiA, London in the early and the Oxford Gallery in the late 1960s as well as significant participation in the inaugural John Moores biannale in Liverpool in 1957 and in subsequent 1967 and 1969 Moores exhibitions at the Walker Art Gallery- is something of a neglected and overlooked painter. I therefore recommend a visit to see vibrantly patterned abstract abstract pictures in an all- too-easily-overlooked gallery founded only in 2004 on the outer edge of the St. Ives art beat.

Boyd's pictures have therefore used abstraction to conjure a sense of nature in flux, falling leaves or flower petals tossed in the wind, snow flurries or sand storms may be merely incidental and associative bi-products of collaged, palette-knifed, combed or incised surfaces but speak of the uncanny resemblance between the constructive process of image formation in paint on the one hand and that of landscape evolution on the other.The centrepiece is 'Bear Garden' 2006, a square canvas in acrylic revealing geometric counter-point, the equiangular format contradicted by red diagonal edges that create an open diamond centre of black and white, red and green marks dancing on a cobalt blue background.The show runs until early October.

Peter Davies