Shary BOYLE b. 1972

Shary BOYLE is renown for her bold, fantastical explorations of the human figure using a diverse range of media, including porcealin and ceramic. Highly crafted and deeply imaginative, her practice is influenced by the work of Hieronymus Bosch, Félicien Rops, Ferdinand Knopff and Otto Dix, to the more popular imagery of radical contemporary comic art and surrealism. Boyle’s work considers the social history of the decorative arts, associated as a ‘woman’s leisure activity’, and subverts the sophisticated porcelain techniques of the great European masters – Sevrés, Meissen, Nymphenburg – to her advantage. Imbuing her ceramic figurines with animist mythologies and folk-art narratives, to create a symbolic, feminist and politically charged language uniquely her own.


Boyle is exhibited and collected internationally. Outside the palace of Me, a major touring exhibition of Boyle’s work, will be presented at The Gardiner Museum, Toronto and The Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal in 2022, and the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2023. An accompanying monograph will be launched in Summer 2021, to be published by Art Canada Institute. In 2017, Boyle co-curated and exhibited in the Esker Foundation-produced touring exhibition Earthlings, her sculptures were featured in South Korea’s Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, and the Phaidon, UK publication Vitamin C: Clay and Ceramic in Contemporary Art. In 2016 her ceramics were included in Ceramix, Ceramics and art from Rodin to Schutte, co-produced by Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, NL, Cite de la ceramique Sevres, FR, and la Maison Rouge, Paris, FR.


Boyle represented Canada with her project Music for Silence at the 55th Venice Biennale, 2013. She is the recipient of Canada’s Hnatyshyn Foundation Award, and Gershon Iskowitz Prize.