Nancy Boyd:
Portrait Analogs

Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam
December 9 - January 18

Camrose, View #1 (1998),
mixed media on panel

Through her new series of mixed-media panels, Vancouver artist and Capilano College painting instructor Nancy Boyd challenged herself to create testamonials and inquiries into the lives of ten women who have been significant in her own.

Laid out like typed sentences that can be more or less revealed, the triptych panels - one for each subject - are hinged to create covers or 'doors'. These either hide or disclose a left-to-right reading of the panel contents. The polished granite left-hand doors open to reveal a piece of text or poem specific to each person, while the right-hand panels, painted with surfaces characteristic of each woman on the back, open to reveal maps of birthplaces on the front. This analogue representation of personal characteristics might be construed only as what Boyd herself calls "another form of congealed particularity", but it is one that well supports the elusive and referential qualities of those characteristics she has selected.

With the razor-like delicacy that is her trademark, Boyd suspends her fine art in a fragile but solid place between metaphor and allusion, mathematical precision and geometric iconography. Her magic continues to lie in the resolution of the gallery object with the ethereal and personal. This exhibition marks a significant move away from earlier controlled and rationalistic approaches to measure, labryrinths, geography and architecture to a more personal journey through the experimental and existential.

© Mia Johnson