Mark Boyle

Holland Park Avenue Study


Not on display

Mark Boyle 1934–2005
Earth on resin and fibreglass
Object: 2388 × 2400 × 114 mm
Purchased 1969

Catalogue entry

Mark Boyle b. 1934
Inscribed on edge ‘Top’.

Earth on Epikote and fibreglass, 94×94×4½ (239×239×11.5).

Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) 1969.
Exh: Earth Probe, I.C.A., June–July 1969 (no numbers).
Lit: Journey to the Surface of the Earth: Mark Boyle's Atlas and Manual (published by the Gemeente Museum, The Hague, 1970), n.p. and repr., with detail in colour.

The artist has written of this (letter of 2 February 1970):

'1. November 1967. Weather cloudy with rain at times. Slight shower started while we were working on the site, causing defect that scattered raindrops appear on the pavement but not on tarmac road surface which had been dealt with a few minutes earlier.

'2. The Study is one of the series of 100 London studies selected at random from a square of London including parts of Notting Hill, Shepherds Bush and Holland Park. This area was selected not only because we live in the middle of it but also because it provides an extreme cross section of the urban environment. The defect in the random process caused by the possibility that our choice of this area to live in introduces a subjective element that might turn out to be significant has resulted in our decision to select sites at random on a map of the world (earth probe). We've now done about 12 of the 100 London sites.

'3. The Study is made with Epikote (an epoxy resin) on fibreglass.

‘The technique involves lifting the moveable material on each site, (everything is covered with at least a film of dust) and holding it in the same shape that the film was in on the site until we can back it with a reasonably precise presentation of what lay underneath the film on the site (i.e. the immoveable material). In some cases, the presentation is microscopically accurate. In others it is merely satisfactory to the naked eye (depending on my skill or lack of it and on the technical and financial facilities at my disposal at the time).’

A map of the site published in Journey to the Surface of the Earth shows that this area of road and pavement was near the junction of Holland Park Avenue and Norland Road.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1968-70, London 1970


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