boyd evans fionnuala les photographer photography

19 November 2016 - 21 January 2017

Plain Sight
American landscapes

Photographs by BOYD & EVANS

Our inaugural exhibition showed the extraordinary work of Fionnuala Boyd and Leslie Evans, landscapes photographed in the western states of America and printed for this exhibition on paper, aluminium and fabric, three images of a size to each fill an entire wall of the gallery.

Gallery talks by the artists took place on
Monday 21 November, 6pm - 7:30pm
Thursday 19 January, 6pm - 7:30pm

Friday 20 January, 6pm to 7:30pm


Fionnuala Boyd and Leslie Evans started working together in 1968. They have travelled extensively to find images for their work, including periods in the Malaysian Peninsula and Borneo. Their most enduring obsession though is with the landscape.

"I went into a room and saw one person standing up and one sitting down and a few weeks later I wrote 'The Room'. I went into another room and saw two people standing up and I wrote 'The Caretaker' - Harold Pinter, quoted in an introduction to 'The Caretaker'.

"There is a large element of play in making art. About the time we started working together we heard/read Harold Pinter say something similar to this quote. We tried putting pictures of two disparate people in a space to see what would happen, and that was how we found our language. It formed one of the two foundation stones of our partnership. The other was Rene Magritte. Looking at the world through the filter of his work, moments in everyday life began to look just as startling. So, someone looking up over their shoulder became dazzlingly strange and complex as they made a physical connection between the earth and the sky, appearing simultaneously optimistic and apprehensive. There was already a story both factual and emotional.

We attempt to collect such moments with a camera. Narrative Painting in Britain in the 20th Century, at the Camden Arts Centre in 1970, was the first public exhibition to show our work. Since then 'narrative' has been the one label we would accept without flinching. We do not like being referred to as realists, whether hyper-, super-, photo-, or just plain. Reality is so different from a picture. There is never any confusion. 'Pictorial' would be better, 'representational' quite good enough. Representation is a language, and as such can lie and fantasize as well as tell the truth.

Although most of our pictures represent credible situations there is no rule, and we often play with surreal spaces and situations."


Turley, New Mexico

Click here to see images of the exhibition.

About their work

Click here to see Les and Fionnuala talking about their work.

Click here to see an interview with Jonathan Watkins, Director, Ikon Gallery.

Click here for information about their exhibition "Big Landscapes" at Canary Wharf in July/August 2016.