San Diego Art Guide

Ela Boyd

Ela Boyd. "Hologram Project Projection". Photographic Collage Print on Vellum, Plexiglass, Mylar, LED Light. 55” x 43”. 2011.

Oceanside Museum of Art
704 Pier View Way
Oceanside, CA 92054-2802
(760) 435-3720
Special Showing: January 27th, Art After Dark, 7PM

Ela Boyd’s light installations are dynamic and interactive. She challenges the viewer’s perception of what they are seeing and their position in space by layering light and transparent objects upon one another.

Boyd started out studying photography, where she began experimenting with the interplay of light, space and time. The Light and Space movement pioneers, James Turrell and Robert Irwin, have a great influence on her work.

“[Their work] asks one to question their visual perception… how do you know what you are seeing is accurate?” explains Boyd. For example, James Turrell’s geometric “cube” (Afrum I (White), 1967) created the illusion of volume with light, while Robert Irwin’s acrylic disks (“Untitled”, 1969, Acrylic lacquer on formed acrylic plastic, 53″diameter x 3″deep, Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego) are much more passive and the edges seem to fade into the wall, as if being dissolved by natural light.

By combining these types of sculptural light illusions, as well as others, Boyd invites us to think about the many modes of being a form can take, specifically how forms are simultaneously tangible and intangible. This is where she departs from Turell and Irwin. Her work deals with issues of representation and multiplicity, whereas theirs derived its power from reductive phenomenological methods.

Both Turell and Irwin were recently exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Downtown and La Jolla) during the Pacific Standard Time initiative. In November 2011, Boyd was invited to have an installation alongside these great names during MCASD’s TNT “Phenomenal” exhibition.

Ela Boyd. "Mental Picture Window". Photographic Collage Print on Vellum, Mylar, Plexiglass, LED Light. 55” x 43”. 2011.

In her latest exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art, she showcases prisms of light on vellum that are back-lit through plexiglass.

“The Prism Series is like my journal,” says Boyd, who took photographs of the beautiful Southern California light, focusing on how it interacted with objects and the refractions the light created.

She layered these photos of light into prism shapes, because “the prism is indicative of a lens that distorts your view of determinate horizon… [wherein you] lose confidence in your cognitive abilities to apprehend what you’re seeing accurately.”

Boyd is currently a Visual Art MFA candidate at UCSD. In case you missed her installation at the UCSD Visual Art Department Gallery, she published a book with all the images and her thoughts behind them, entitled “Reflection, Refraction Projection”, available at Double Break Gallery (1821 5th Ave).

“All the work is so ephemeral, I wanted to have something more tangible.”

She has many more installations in the works, the Oceanside Museum of Art’s Art After Dark: Night Oddyssey, where she will be projecting on the facade of the building and Outer Space, a group exhibition at Homeroom in Los Angeles. Boyd wants to continue working with multiplicity in her immersive light installation works, sculptural video installations and “pushing the idea of printed form”.