Gabriella Boyd
Presser
23 March – 2 June 2024

Open Thurs-Sun, 11am-4pm
or by appointment outside of those times
Entry is free – all are welcome
The exhibition is wheelchair accessible

Please join Gabriella and our team for a first look and some refreshments on Saturday 23 March, 1.30-4.30pm

On the day we will have a taxi shuttle to CAMPLE LINE
Pick up from Dumfries train station departs 1.15pm
Return to Dumfries train station departs 4pm.
Please email us (info@campleline.org.uk) to book a seat before Weds 20 March.

Gabriella Boyd, Carriage, 2023, oil on linen, 40 x 50cm, photo: Josef Konczak; Loot, 2023, oil on linen, 40 x 50cm, photo: Jack Hems; Pillar, 2022, oil on linen, 40 x 50cm, photo: Theo Christelis; Two, 2024, oil on linen, 40 x 50cm, photo: Peter Mallet; Mile, installation shot at GRIMM New York, Nov 2022 – Jan 2023, photo: Greg Carideo.

All images courtesy of the Artist and GRIMM Amsterdam | London | New York,

CAMPLE LINE is delighted to present Presser, an exhibition of new and recent paintings by Gabriella Boyd (b. 1988, Glasgow), opening 23 March 2024.

Installed across both floors of our building, the exhibition will include a group of new works on canvas and paper painted over the last year, and these will build upon selected existing paintings, including works from Gabriella’s recent solo presentations Landing (GRIMM Gallery, London, 2023), Mile (GRIMM Gallery, New York, 2022) and Signal (Friends Indeed Gallery, San Francisco, 2022). It will be Gabriella’s first solo show in a public gallery and her first in Scotland. A newly commissioned short essay by Yates Norton, curator at the Roberts Institute of Art, will accompany the exhibition.

Gabriella Boyd’s paintings explore the interactions that tether us both loosely and tightly to each other and to the world around us. Across her remarkable body of work we find what writer Àngels Miralda refers to as ‘the primordial emotions of human attention, of the necessity of sharing with others and the bonds that make us human.’ Gabriella has herself said, ‘While I’m making I swing between an entirely emotionally felt place and a more removed position, where I address the idea of connection as a symbol like a shorthand or sign.’ Hovering between figuration and abstraction, her paintings give visual form to sensations, memories, stories and spaces that we hold in the mind, and she has spoken of her paintings as attempts to translate sensory experience into image.

In each of Gabriella’s paintings, we intuit a world, as experienced by a person or persons, a body or bodies. She has said: ‘The spaces in these works evolved gradually from spending time looking at each painting, inhabiting its own internal logic or atmosphere, and then building from there.’ We encounter figures in spaces we might recognise as rooms, carriages, streets or landscapes, held in moments or in-between states, attending to others or to tasks, or being attended to themselves, whilst seemingly caught up in their own actions, thoughts and emotions. Interiors, beds, tables, windows and bus stops recur as motifs across Gabriella’s compositions, which conflate representational, symbolic and diagrammatic forms in a highly distinctive and charged visual language.

Figures lie, sit or tend, at times their bodies appearing to transform into organs, or merge with their surroundings – a dress, even flesh itself, becoming indistinguishable from a table cloth or the surface of a wall. In Pillars, 2022, the figure in the foreground has taken on a visceral hybrid state – part bird, part heart or lung – whilst, behind, a head gently rests on a pillow, as if perhaps in a dream state, its body rendered weightless, implied beneath the bedsheet. As Miralda has noted: ‘In these paintings, architecture and nature are just as breathing and alive as the bodies that inhabit them…They react to the stimuli of the human body and mind within them.’ Occasionally, bodies are bound by cords or braids, or they brandish strange objects or devices, such as balls or hairdryers that double as ray guns – a shorthand for the attempt to cross space, to reach out and connect ourselves. 

Gabriella uses colour and light expressively and structurally: she has said that she is led by ‘the emotive properties of colour’, often working in an intuitive way, although she can also lean on the symbolism of colours that we are so used to reacting to – particular colours signalling particular sensations or instructions. Gabriella uses reoccurring tones – reds, pinks, greens, yellows, whites – that are both harmonious and dissonant, synthetic and visceral; vivid reds and saccharine greens and yellows on the brink of sickness.

Of the new work she is making for Presser Gabriella has said, ‘I seem to be arriving at places that feel like a heightened sensory perception of an environment. Spaces which hold anatomy in the centre of them. Like the space is being seen through the lens of a body.’ Her new canvases will bring together elements familiar across her wider body of work – the human presence, narrative fragments, evocation of interior states and references to the built and natural worlds – which will take on a distinct charge in relation to Cample’s domestic scale and rural setting. The exhibition’s title – ‘Presser’ – evokes that sense of conflation, of spaces and sensations, of interior and exterior, of the flattening out of form and environment that are key elements of Gabriella’s painting process. Working across multiple canvases, Gabriella will make a final selection for the exhibition. She often works on groups of paintings simultaneously, as was the case for her most recent shows, ‘palette and motifs bleeding between the works. Each work depicts a self-contained world and together they form a system.’

Gabriella Boyd (b. 1988, Glasgow, UK) lives and works in London. She studied at Glasgow School of Art and Royal Academy Schools, London. Gabriella was shortlisted for the John Moores Painting Prize in 2016, and was commissioned by the Folio Society to illustrate a new edition of Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams in 2015.

Her work is held in the permanent collection of the AkzoNobel Art Foundation, Amsterdam; Arts Council Collection, London; Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio; de Young Museum, San Francisco; He Art Museum, Guangdong, China; Long Museum, Shanghai; The Rachofsky Collection, Dallas, Texas; The Roberts Institute of Art, London; Royal Academy of Arts, London and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

Recent solo exhibitions include Landing at GRIMM, London; Mile at GRIMM, New York, NY; Signal at Friends Indeed, San Francisco; For Days at Seventeen Gallery, London; and Help Yourself at Blain Southern, London.

Recent group exhibitions include << Dispatches>>, sans titre gallery, Paris; The Descendants at K11 Musea, Hong Kong; PRESENT ’23 at Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; Cursed Union at Micki Meng, San Francisco; The Kingfisher’s Wing, curated by Tom Morton, GRIMM, New York, NY; Mixing It Up: Painting Today at Hayward Gallery, London; Fifteen Painters at Andrew Kreps, New York, NY; Reconfigured at Timothy Taylor, London; Fragmented Bodies at Albertz Benda, New York, NY; The Garden at Royal Academy, London; Silent Tourist at Mackintosh Lane, London; The London Open at Whitechapel Gallery, London, and Dreamers Awake at White Cube Bermondsey, London.