Studio Sunday: Sharyl Boyle

A photo of Sharyl Boyle in her studio


This week’s Studio Sunday artist is Sharyl Boyle. Boyle was born in Scarborough, Ontario, and currently lives and works in Toronto. The artist is known for her work in a range of media, including sculpture, painting, drawing, and even performance art. The artist’s sculptures are figurative in a surreal way, with Boyle using vividly painted ceramics to bring her imagination to life.


Boyle’s studio is wonderfully bright, and the artist looks comfortable in the space. The wood floors and white walls give the impression of an airy apartment – what looks like a radiator on the wall behind Boyle could also be a cupboard or shelving unit. It lends an almost antique look to the artist’s décor.


I can see evidence of several different art media in this photo – in front of the aforementioned shelving unit there appears to be a bucket, perhaps of clay slip. I’d associate this with the artist’s sculptural works – is that a small kiln in front of the book shelf? On the table nearest Boyle, there’s implements for drawing and painting. There are brushes; small bottles of paint, ink, or medium; various scraps of paper and perhaps measuring implements.


I’m interested in the images on the wall behind the artist – some of them look like magazine covers or interior images. While they’re too small to tell for certain, many of them could be photos of Boyle’s own sculptures or paintings. Perhaps she keeps these as reference images, or as inspiration or motivation.


Boyle is widely credited with helping to bring ceramic sculpture back into the sphere of fine art, after it was maligned as a low-brow art form associated with arts and crafts and traditionally feminine production. Throughout her career, she’s played with the idea of high art versus low art, collaborating with artists in fields ranging from music, to Inuit art, to nail art. She represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 2013.

[image source]

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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