No Brilliantly Coloured Birds (Small) (SOLD OUT)

Martin Boyce


About the edition

Martin Boyce developed a large scale unique print as part of his No Reflections installation for Scotland and Venice 2009. Two related editioned prints were commissioned by DCA in conjunction with this project. 

 Continuing Boyce's interest in the ‘collapse of nature and architecture’ and interior and exterior forms, these prints make reference to the empty wooden interior of the artist's bird box sculpture in the vacated Italian Palazzo; the holes in which simultaneously suggest the form of a head or mask.  During the development of this project Boyce drew from a short text he had written with an abandoned zoo in mind: ‘warm dry stone and palm leaves, no elephants, no giraffes, no penguins, no brilliantly coloured birds…’.  

 This language of an abandoned garden is continued with the text 'No Brilliantly Coloured Birds' that tumbles out across the image. The form of the text stems from a central structural motif that forms a core of much of Boyce’s work.   This motif is derived from an early black and white photograph of four geometric concrete trees sculpted by Joel and Jan Martel in 1925.   Boyce explains:

While working on the Martel tree models I began to develop a linear repeat pattern with the central structure of the trees as the main motif.   Over time I then began to notice the possibility of letters hidden within the lines of the repeat.   As first I found an R, an S and an M then slowly and with much trial and error I found a good representation of every letter of the alphabet.   Some letters were found upside down, some on their side…I allowed the letters to appear as they were found within the pattern…the relationship with falling fragments, autumnal leaves and the air blowing through architecture and nature seemed to fit perfectly with these tumbling letters. Martin Boyce

Related Work 

A larger print from this body of work was also produced in a varied edition of 40.


Year 2009
Edition of 60
Media Screenprint on Heritage White (315gsm) paper
Dimensions 34 x 25cm (image size: 27 x 19cm)
Signature Signed, numbered and dated by artist 

Introducing Martin Boyce

Martin Boyce is one of Scotland's most prominent artists and is well known for his sculptural installations that draw from the familiarity of our immediate urban or natural environments:

Born in Hamilton, Scotland in 1967, Martin Boyce lives and works in Glasgow. Recent exhibitions and public projects include Kaldor Art Projects, Melbourne; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Münster Sculpture Project, Münster; and Sculpture Center, New York. His works are held in many museum collections including the Tate collection.