Gabriella Boyd, Sunhead

Sunhead, 2017

Gabriella Boyd (b. 1988)

RA Collection: Art

Gabriella Boyd explains that her work celebrates the "futile attempts at communication in human relations, I invite the viewer to navigate through tones of desire, care and medicinal support, forms and figures lodged and dissolving into their surroundings."

In Sunhead Boyd points out "a purple bottle shaped torso is held tightly between the two edges of the canvas" and "a motif in the foreground which could be read as a frond of foliage or a stethoscope." As well as these objects which have various assocaitions Boyd describes her work as flitting and bleeding "between the depiction of space and the physical experience of it. Sexually charged or anaemic and translucent in their execution, the paintings speak of skin and temperature, what holds bodies and relationships together and what holds them apart."

The painting spans both landscape and portraiture in which the the sun and the head are blended. The sun floating over the horizon gives a depth to the torso which pushes into the viewer's space.

Boyd explains that "these momentary points of contact and rupture are played out in paintings and drawing through the construction of narratives pulled from photographs, literature, recalled observations and atmospheres. A static but sprawling sense of time is held both within the layered surface of each painting and in the space between the works themselves."

Gabriella Body, (b.1988, Glasgow), studied at the Royal Academy Schools from 2014-2017. This painting won the RA Schools Keeper's Purchase Prize in 2017.

Object details

Gabriella Boyd (b. 1988)
Object type
Copyright owner
Oil on canvas

1600 mm x 1200 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Purchased from Gabriella Boyd in 2017
return to start

Start exploring the RA Collection

read more
  • Explore art works, paint-smeared palettes, scribbled letters and more...
  • Artists and architects have run the RA for 250 years.
    Our Collection is a record of them.
Start exploring