Canadian, b. 1972
porcelain, china paint, silver gilt
24 x 15 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Mr. and Mrs. G.B. Wiswell Fund and with matching funds from the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance program/Oeuvre achetée avec l’aide du programme d’aide aux acquisitions du Conseil des Arts du Canada
Using pre-molded porcelain figurines and reconfiguring them in ways that first appear normal, but on second glance are strikingly abnormal, Shary Boyle invents a fantastical and eerie alternative world. To transform her surfaces, she turns to the nineteenth-century technique of lace draping, creating delicate passages of filigree as seen in the lacy details of this figure. She manipulates the historical connotations of her medium, purposely subverting it to voice contemporary issues of feminism, marginalization, and alienation. Grief, anger, loneliness, mischief, and desire inhabit her characters. Boyle’s excessive surface treatment of this particular WAG work consumes and confines her figure, rendering her bound and mute. The effect is deliberately unsettling, its beauty disturbing, its seduction uncomfortable.
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