Guy Boyd (sculptor) : biography
Guy Martin à Beckett Boyd (12 June 1923 – 26 April 1988) was an Australian potter and figurative sculptor noted for his ability to capture the fluidity and sensuality of the female form. He was also active in environmental and other causes, including protesting against the damming of the Franklin River and advocating the innocence of Lindy Chamberlain.
The Boyd family artistic dynasty includes painters, sculptors, architects and other arts professionals, commencing with Boyd’s grandfather Arthur Merric Boyd, Boyd’s father Merric and mother Doris, uncles Penleigh Boyd and Martin Boyd, and brothers Arthur and David, both painters. Mary Boyd, his sister and also a painter, married first John Perceval, and then later Sidney Nolan, both artists.
Boyd turned away from this commercial work and to a full-time career in sculpture in 1965. His commissions include sculptures in both Melbourne and Sydney’s international airports, Caulfield Town Hall, the Commonwealth Bank and has pieces in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. He has had exhibitions of his work in Australia, England, Canada, and the United States.
In 1968 Boyd won a Churchill Fellowship to study art overseas; and was appointed the Art Advisor to Deakin University in 1988.
‘Guy Boyd’ written by Anne Von Bertouch and Patrick Hutchins was published by Lansdowne Press in 1976.
He was Australian Co-ordinator of ‘Save Lindy Chamberlain’ and wrote the book Justice in Jeopardy in her defence.
He was President of the Brighton Foreshore Protection Committee, which he founded with a plaque commemorating his achievements in preserving the Brighton Foreshore erected on the beach at Brighton, Victoria, Melbourne.
He was President of the Port Phillip Protection Society and was arrested campaigning against the damming of the Franklin River in Tasmania.
He migrated to Canada with his wife and four younger children, settling in Toronto in 1975, but returned to live in Australia five years later.
Died 26 April 1988 from coronary artherosclerosis and was buried with Anglican rites in Brighton cemetery. His wife, Phyllis, and their five daughters and two sons, survived him.
Background and early years
Born in Murrumbeena, Victoria, he was a member of the Boyd artistic dynasty, and brother of painters Arthur Boyd and David Boyd. Initially he was a potter, establishing both Martin Boyd Pottery and later Guy Boyd Pottery. These studios produced a wide range of modernist objects from house-wares to decorative pieces which enjoyed strong commercial success. Iconic Australian imagery, particularly flora and indigenous motifs, feature heavily. This period of work is also stepped in the ‘atomic age’ aesthetics of the 1950s and early 1960s with a familiar color palate and shapes that hold strong echos of Eames and others.