An image of Blind leading the blind

Robert Boynes

(Australia 1942 – )

Blind leading the blind

Not on display
Further information

Since the mid-1990s, the primary subject of Robert Boynes's paintings have been figures in urban environments. However, in 'Blind leading the blind' 2015 Boynes has returned to addressing political themes in his work. Depicted across three panels is an inverted procession of blindfolded men and women who are presumably the victims of war - surreal scenes that we have become accustomed to in our 24-hour news cycle. In referencing this material Boynes draws attention to our exposure and disposition to such imagery, which he believes has been 'seared into our brains and memory so clearly that we become dumb to their existence' [1]. These images have been screen-printed onto a primed, scrunched canvas, which has later been hosed down with water by the artist. Its textured surface undermines any sense of realism or distinction between the truth of the events and what we perceive via media representation. The title 'Blind leading the blind' is a reference to the plight of the subjects, but also to the collective ignorance of people who knowingly and unknowingly 'turn a blind eye' to reality.

1. Robert Boynes, In plain sight, Brenda May Gallery, Sydney, 2015, p 3

triptych: synthetic polymer paint on canvas, timber
120.0 x 321.0 cm stretcher overall
Signature & date

Signed and dated top c. verso on stretcher [parts a-c], black fibre-tipped pen "... Boynes '15 ...".

Patrick White Bequest Fund 2015
Accession number
© Robert Boynes. Licensed by Copyright Agency