Gabriella Boyd
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

Sat 25 May, 4pm: Gabriella Boyd in conversation with Tina Fiske
This event is free, but booking required

Three installation shots featuring (l-r) Carriage, 2023, Presser, 2024, Strangers (ii), 2024, and Telogen, 2022-2024, (l-r) Lightning, 2024, Chine, 2024 and Brace (ii), 2022-2024, and Speaker, 2024, from Gabriella Boyd’s exhibition Presser, 23 March – 2 June 2024, CAMPLE LINE, photos: Patrick Jameson. All images courtesy of the Artist and GRIMM Amsterdam | London | New York

Exhibition film

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, Presser features nineteen works on canvas and paper, and includes new paintings made over the last year alongside three that Gabriella has exhibited in recent exhibitions in Paris, London and New York. This is Gabriella’s first solo show in a public gallery, and her first in Scotland. The exhibition is accompanied by a newly commissioned essay by Yates Norton, curator at the Roberts Institute of Art.

Across Gabriella’s 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. 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 has made 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 bring together elements familiar across her wider body of work – the human presence, narrative fragments, small gestures of care or attention, evocation of emotional or psychological states, and references to the built and natural worlds. The exhibition’s title – ‘Presser’ – evokes a sense of conflation of spaces and sensations, of interior and exterior, or the flattening out of form and environment that Gabriella explores in her work.

On installing her work at Cample, Gabriella said: ‘…having the chance to hang a painting next to a window that’s almost like at shoulder height, and having this relationship directly to the outside and to this rural space, it’s really unusual…The relationship between the lilac slate roof outside with that colour in a part of the painting Speaker, these sort of gifts come in.’

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.