Shary Boyle currently lives and works in Toronto, though her career has involved travel and residencies in several European countries. Boyle is a performance artist, sculptor and painter as well as a filmmaker. She has become known for the deeply personal and psychologically moving content of her imagery, which recalls the anxieties, desire and bittersweet fantasy worlds of childhood and adolescence. Critical, enchanting and at times humorous, Boyle’s work is raw with human vulnerability and dysfunction. Boyle’s graphic novel Witness my Shame, a compendium of 16 mini-books she created between 1997 and 2001, was published in 2004. Boyle also collaborates with musicians, creating “live” drawings, which are animated and projected onstage during their performances. She has worked with Peaches at the Sonic Youth-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Los Angeles and performed in 2005 with Feist at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris. In 2007 Boyle was invited to perform a new work as the opening act for Will Oldham’s California tour. She and Doug Paisley performed Dark Hand and Lamplight at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, in Spring 2008 as a component of the program for the Kara Walker exhibition and were invited to present this work again at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Next Wave series in November 2008.
Shary Boyle’s work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions including at the Power Plant, Toronto in 2006 and at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbrdge) in 2008. Otherworld Uprising, a comprehensive book on Shary Boyle’s art was published by Conundrum Press, Montreal in association with the Southern Alberta Art Gallery. In celebration of the museum’s reopening in the new Frank Gehry building in 2008, the Art Gallery of Ontario commissioned two works by Boyle which respond to Italian baroque works in the collection. (bio)