In painting, drawing, sculpture and installations, Shary Boyle has engaged issues of mythology androgyny, sexuality and beauty. The subjects of her small sculptures are most often women, naked in Nature, served on a porcelain base garnished with flowers, or elaborately gowned in brocade with layered embellishments of lace and ribbon. These are gorgeous constructions, women being looked at and made (all by Boyle’s own hand), using materials designated as female: porcelain, porcelain painting, lace work and embroidery—a feminist presentation twice over. The work is seductive and in its beautifully detailed elaboration it invites, and holds, the gaze. The subjects are lyric but also fraught: childhood sexuality, self-pleasuring, allusions to unusual pairings. They provide a gorgeous shock followed by appreciation. Boyle’s work is performative in real time as well as in its narrative quality. She stages theatrical pieces using overhead projector lamps, a mix of music and her own dancing figure.
Shary Boyle was born in Toronto in 1973 and graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1994. Her practice includes painting, drawing sculpture and performance. She has exhibited and performed in group and solo exhibitions in Canada, the us and Europe. Her work is in major private and public collections, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation, The National Gallery of Canada and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Boyle has been the recipient of a number of major awards and has lived in Winnipeg where she returns to work with performance collaborator Christine Fellows.