Alex Boyd (photographer)
Life and work
Boyd is best known for his conceptual and figurative landscape photography, most notably his series "Sonnets". The "Sonnets" series has been highly commended by Harry Benson, Scotland's best known living photographer, and is based on the Rückenfigur (literally "back figure") paintings of German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich. The series attempts to explore issues of Scottish national identity and its depiction in Scottish art. The series takes its name from a collection of poems by Scottish Makar (Poet Laureate) Edwin Morgan, and who later contributed to the project. American pianist Mike Garson paid tribute to the series in 2011 with an EP directly inspired by Boyd's work.
Sonnets made headlines in 2008 when Boyd had several of his works projected 84 metres high onto Europe's largest building, the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, and covered the entire University Square as part of the "White Night in Bucharest" Festival.
In 2009 Boyd was included in a group show with Thomas Joshua Cooper and also participated in Anthony Gormley's One and Other project in a collaboration with Edwin Morgan, and in September was shortlisted for European Photographer of the year in the EU Imagine competition, with his work going on to be exhibited in the European Parliament in Brussels.
In March 2010 Boyd's work was featured in a solo exhibition at the Scottish Parliament Building, where it was celebrated in a Parliamentary motion. A specially curated exhibition of the "Sonnets" series alongside the work of one of Boyd's key influences Bill Brandt took place in March 2009 at the H.A.C in Scotland.
Currently he is working on a new series called 'Lowlands', and is experimenting with the wet plate collodion process. Boyd is also currently a member of Accademia Apulia. In the January 2012 edition of Vogue Magazine he was named as one of their 'Hot Shot' photographers.
Film and television
In 2011 as part of the Glasgow Film Festival a short film 'Sonnets' about Boyd's work was shown at the GFT, featuring an introduction by veteran Scottish actor Bill Paterson. Boyd also appears in a new BBC series about Victorian photographer Francis Frith alongside presenter John Sergeant, explaining and demonstrating the Collodion process.
- 2010 The Dewar Award
- 2010 Arts Trust for Scotland Award
- 2010 'Sonnets from Scotland', The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
- 2009 ‘North’, The Tron Theatre, Glasgow
- 2008 ‘Sonnets from Scotland’, The Arches, Glasgow, Scotland
- 2008 ‘Sonnets from Scotland’, Offshore Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland
- 2007 'A Man Without A Country’, Fulham Palace, London
- 2006 ‘Into Silence’, The 13th Note, Glasgow, Scotland
- 2006 ‘Into Silence’, Venue, Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Scotland
- 2006 ‘Tide Reflects Sky’, Cunningham House, Ayrshire, Scotland
- 2011 Accademia Apulia Awards Royal Horseguards, London
- 2011 The Leith Festival (curated by Alastair Cook), Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh
- 2010 TULCA Arts Festival, Galway Ireland
- 2009 Imagine 2009 EU Photography Awards – European Parliament Building, Brussels
- 2009 Imagine 2009 EU Photography Awards – Swedish Parliament, Stockholm
- 2009 Scottish Photographers – Lillie Gallery, Glasgow
- 2008 W.A.A.P.N – NY Photo Festival, New York, USA
- 2008 Digital Fringe Festival – Melbourne, Australia
- 2008 W.A.A.P.N – Musée de l'Élysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
- 2008 W.A.A.P.N – Gallery 013, Tilburg, The Netherlands
- 2007 Retro Future, Fulham Palace, London
- 2007 ‘Breakthrough’ San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, USA
Footnotes and references
- , The Arches – "Sonnets From Scotland". Retrieved on 11 September 2008.
- Evening Times,The,(6 September 2008). Article by Russell Leadbetter.
- Scottish Photographers Magazine (Autumn 2008). "Alex Boyd: Sonnets from Scotland pg.22".
- , Edwin Morgan Official Site – Alex Boyd & "Sonnets from Scotland". Retrieved on 26 September 2008.
- , Mike Garson - the Sonnets.
- , The BBC- Art 'covers' Romanian Parliament. Retrieved on 26 September 2008.
- Irvine Times, The (17 August 2008). "Display on Europe's largest building".
- , Scottish Poetry Library – Alex Boyd & Edwin Morgan
- , EU Imagine 2009 Photography Competition
- , Scottish Parliament congratulates Alex Boyd
- , Alex Boyd - Visual Art Directory Scotland
- , Alex Boyd - Accademia Apulia Members Page
- , British Photo History – Alex Boyd on location
- Alex Boyd website
- 'Sonnets' a short film about Boyd's work by Michael Prince
- BBC Article on Alex Boyd
- Interview with the German Embassy
- Interview with Accademia Apulia
- Arthertz show at Fulham Palace
- Alex Boyd on Sky Arts