exhibitions & events 2023
Glasgow Print Studio Ground Floor Gallery
Exhibition Runs: 07 - 29 April 2023
Preview: Thursday 06 April, 6-8pm
This exhibition of work by Glasgow based artist Boyd McNicol is inspired by the his travels and his exploration of mysteries and tales found in art. When looking at traditional art and representational imagery, Boyd has always been intrigued by symbolism and hidden meaning. His own work is laden with weird and wonderful scenes full of unexpected corners, faces and creatures. He invites the viewer to question, what are they doing and where are they going?
“There is always a story to tell. If it is not obvious, we invent our own story… we can’t help it. By adding our own individual perceptions and personal experiences we create our own stories as we find layers of meaning and imagery in every picture. It’s different for everyone. Once you start to look, you see more…”
Boyd McNicol left Glasgow School of Art in 1971 after studying printmaking. He then began drawing and illustrating for various publications, and also created art works on a larger scale such as designing decorative neon lighting, and by painting Glasgow’s biggest bowl of tulips - on an East End tenement wall.
Very much influenced by fairground imagery, PopArt, OpArt, and Surrealism, his early work was colourful, bold and theatrical. It never could be described as being traditional yet Boyd liked to use traditional references or formats, before turning it on its head in his own inimitable style. Venus on a Half Shell was swirled around in a trail of decorative ribboned fabric more commonly depicted on a waltzer or a tattoo. The Doge of Venice was depicted with terror on his face and eyes popping wide. Much of this work was finely drawn and coloured using pencils and pastels.
He eventually became keen to use oil paint for larger canvases. This became his preferred medium for many years. At this time he exhibited at the RGI and in various galleries. He became a member of the Glasgow Group, exhibiting frequently with them. He often exhibited in the Pittenweem art festival. Boyd no longer paints large canvases and has reverted to his original method of drawing finer more illustrative work. His tools are now an iPad and iPen.
McNicol has always had a bold and individual way of expressing himself and has always been original and unique. He doesn’t have a “style” which he can be particularly associated with. After a certain medium or idea has been developed and explored as much as possible, Boyd becomes keen to move on to new ideas inspired by other sources or experiences. Boyd never stops looking at new ways to show what he is interested in.
Image: Boyd McNicol, 'Emperor's New Egg (Blue)', 2023, digital pigment print, 40 x 50 cm, edition of 27. Boyd McNicol, 'The Funny Farm', 2023, digital pigment print, 50 x 70 cm, edition of 9.