Robert Boynes came to Canberra from Adelaide about 40 years ago to take up the position as the inaugural head of the Painting Workshop at the newly established Canberra School of Art. It was a position that he held until his retirement in 2006.
This exhibition focuses on his paintings from the past two decades and I have never seen an exhibition of his work look so good. Boynes has always been a socially engaged artist, a commentator on life and society. In Adelaide, he had built up a reputation for making hard-hitting political graphics, mainly screenprints aimed at attacking capitalism and imperialism. On coming to Canberra, he worked on images of social displacement and urban alienation, creating strangely ambiguous images of victims discarded on the fringes of society - people sleeping rough with heads frequently covered with newspapers.