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‘What is my culture?’ Paintings by Becs Boyd

Featured in the windows of The Northlight Gallery Stromness from 3rd to 16th of February are paintings by Becs Boyd.

Becs says of her paintings that they draw on five weeks wandering across Arctic Norway with her tent during summer 2022. The work reflects on contrasting meanings of the word ‘Culture’, as human social behaviour, but also in a broader sense of creating the conditions for nurturing life. Returning home against a backdrop of environmental crisis, she explored how we all relate to the myriad ‘Cultures’ with which we coexist. 

“During the summer, the rocks seem to be gathering light against the coming dark. Small life forms on their surfaces change colour with the advancing season. There is a sense of the stillness that was in the world when the rocks, sea and sky had it to themselves. Meanwhile fishermen and fast boats ply the waterways, fast cars race the roads, fish farms occupy the horizon. If we are a predator culture, what is our ‘prey’? What human and non-human ‘Cultures’ do we value, exploit, or simply overlook? What is My Culture?” 

Becs Boyd graduated from Moray School of Art in 2020 (First Class) and is an artist and ecologist on the Black Isle. Her painting and sculpture often challenge narratives of human control and anthropocentrism, embracing human vulnerability in an uncertain and interconnected world. She won the New Highland Contemporary 4 award and has exhibited widely, including a solo show on Art North’s Projectroom 2020 and recent work selected for Society of Scottish Artists, The Royal National Mod and Visual Arts Scotland exhibitions. She received a Visual Artist and Craft Makers Award 2021/22 and is part of the 2022/23 S-S-A Mentoring Programme.


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