As if hewn straight from a cliff face, a chunk of white chalky rocks is displayed on a wall. 'Chalk Cliff Study' is one of several wall-based sculptures produced by the Boyle Family, the artistic collective name for Mark Boyle, Joan Hills and their adult children, Sebastian and Georgia. Recreating segments of a landscape onto a wall is both a playful act and one of intent. By creating realistic versions of the natural world from resin, fibreglass and paint, the Boyle Family present an objective and ‘true to life’ slice of reality. Their practice is based on a belief that nature orders itself, without any need for the intervention or adaptation of art. The rocky chunk in 'Chalk Cliff Study' derives from a stone quarry in Kent. The Boyle Family randomly selects locations for every work: in the early years, they threw a dart at a map to determine a precise location, a process that has taken them all over the world.
The Boyle Family’s first explorations of wall-mounted sculptures based on natural features were shown in 1964 in their exhibition, Journey to the Surface of the Earth at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. Four years later, they embarked on their World Series, a continuous series of works that includes various iterations of Chalk Cliff studies.
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