Thursday, April 17, 2014

Daniel Boyd wins Bulgari Art Award for a painting referencing Australia's little known history of slavery

Daniel Boyd has won this year's $80,000 Bulgari Art Award for a painting that makes subtle reference to the little known history of slavery in Australia and the bleak realities of colonialism.

The painting is of an idyllic scene from drawn from an old photograph of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. The island was home to Boyd's great great grandfather before he and many other Pacific islanders were brought as slaves to work in sugar cane fields of Queensland. Boyd says his ancestor was later forced to leave the country under the introduction of the White Australia policy.

Judged by Wayne Tunnicliffe, head curator of Australian art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the award includes a $50,000 cash prize and a $30,000 residency in Italy.

Boyd follows in the footsteps of Michael Zavros and Jon Cattalan, previous winners of the Bulgari Art Award which was launched in 2012.
Image: Daniel Boyd with his prize-winning painting Untitled 2014