Mark Boyle

1934–2005

Biography

Mark Boyle (11 May 1934 - 4 May 2005) was an influential Scottish artist born in Glasgow and known for his work in the cultural UK Underground of the 1960s around the Traverse Theatre, and was exhibiting since 1985 with Joan Hills and their children Sebastian and Georgia as Boyle Family.

Although Boyle Family have worked across a wide range of different media (including painting, photography, sculpture, film, projection, sound recordings and drawing), they are perhaps most well known for their Earth studies. These pictures - highly accurate painted casts that operate somewhere between painting and sculpture - involve the meticulous re-creation of randomly chosen areas of the Earth's surface using resin and fibreglass (as well as real materials from the site) and have been exhibited internationally. Past shows have included the British Pavilion at the XXXIX Venice Biennale in 1978, Beyond Image - Boyle Family (Hayward Gallery, London) in 1986 and Boyle Family (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh) - a major retrospective held in 2003.

In addition to developing highly original casting techniques, Mark Boyle and Joan Hills also pioneered the use of liquid light shows during the 1960s. These projections played a seminal role in the development of the counter-culture of the period. The light environments were used to accompany stage performances by such artists as Jimi Hendrix and jazz-rock pioneers Soft Machine.

Amongst others he collaborated with George Brecht, Peter Schmidt (artist), Cornelius Cardew, and John Tilbury.

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