Guy’s bowls and sporting women

Australian potter and figurative sculptor Guy Martin à Beckett Boyd was born in Murrumbeena, Victoria, on 12 June, 1923. Guy was a member of the Boyd family artistic dynasty which includes painters, sculptors, architects and other arts professionals, commencing with Boyd’s grandfather Arthur Merric Boyd, Boyd’s father William Merric and mother Doris (nee Gough), uncles Penleigh Boyd and Martin Boyd, and brothers Arthur Merric and David, both painters; along with Mary Boyd, his sister and also a painter, who married first John Perceval, and then later Sidney Nolan, both Australian artists.

Guy is the brother of:

Initially, Guy was a potter, establishing both Martin Boyd Pottery and later Guy Boyd Pottery. These studios produced a wide range of modernist objects from housewares to decorative pieces which enjoyed strong commercial success (such as the bowls featured above). In 1965, Guy abandoned commercial pottery and made sculpture his full-time career. As a sculptor and designer, he was noted for his ability to capture the fluidity and sensuality of the female form. Guy’s first one man exhibition was held at the Australiana Gallerie in February, 1965.

Guy’s commissions include sculptures in both Melbourne and Sydney’s international airports, Caulfield Town Hall, the Commonwealth Bank and he has works in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Guy continued to exhibit in Australia, England, Canada, and the United States. In 1968 he won a Churchill Fellowship to study art overseas. Guy migrated to Canada with his wife and four younger children, settling in Toronto in 1975, but returned to live in Australia five years later and was appointed to the position of Art Advisor to Deakin University, in 1988. Guy pursued other interests including:

  • Australian Co-ordinator of ‘Save Lindy Chamberlain’ and wrote the book Justice in Jeopardy in her defence.
  • President of the Brighton Foreshore Protection Committee, which he founded. There is a plaque commemorating his achievements in preserving the Brighton Foreshore erected on the beach at Brighton, Victoria.
  • President of the Port Phillip Protection Society and was arrested campaigning against the damming of the Franklin River in Tasmania.

Guy married Phyllis Emma Nairn. They had seven children: Lenore (1953–), Sally (1955- ), Derry Catherine (1957–), Kirstin Doris (1960–), Ben, Charlotte Beatrice Magdalen (1968–), and Martin Duncan Gough Boyd (1970–).

  • Guy Boyd died on 26 April, 1988, from coronary atherosclerosis and was buried with Anglican rites in the Brighton Cemetery. His wife, Phyllis, and their five daughters and two sons, survived him.

The sculptures featured include:

  • Australian Tennis Player (1975) Bronze sculpture, Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, gift of the artist in 1976
  • Swimmer Entering the Water donated to the City of Caulfield by the Boyd family in memory of Guy Boyd 1990. Situated outside the Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre (GESAC) pool, Bentleigh East.
  • Sally (Second Portrait) 1970 cast 1977 Bronze bust 31cm

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Source:  Scarlett, R. Australian Sculptors. Thomas Nelson, Melbourne 1980 and Von Bertouch, Anne and Hutchins, Patrick. ‘Guy Boyd.’ Lansdowne Press, 1976.
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