Boyle Family

Boyle Family is a group of collaborative artists based in London. Mark Boyle and Joan Hills met in Harrogate, Yorkshire in 1957, Joan a single mother who had left her art and architecture studies to bring up her son and Mark was serving in the army. Within months they were collaborating, initially exhibiting their work under Boyle's name until their work became widely known and they exhibited as Mark Boyle and Joan Hills. When their children, Sebastian born in 1962 and Georgia born in 1963, began to collaborate with them from the late 1970s onwards, the group became established as Boyle Family.


Immersed in the counter-culture of Paris and London, Boyle Family were indiscriminate in media and subject matter, producing performances, happenings, events, films, sound recordings, photography, drawing, assemblage, painting, sculpture and installation. Mark Boyle was also a prolific author and lecturer, arguing cogently on Boyle Family's inclusive, objective, encyclopaedic, chance-led conceptual and artistic objectives. Boyle Family is best known for the earth studies: three-dimensional casts of the surface of the earth which record and document random sites with great accuracy. These works combine real material from the site (stones, dust, twigs etc) with paint and resins, preserving the form of the ground to make unique one-off pieces that suggest and offer new interpretations of the environment. These ideas are strongly enshrined in the major Boyle Family work, World Series, initiated in 1968 as part of the exhibition Journey to the Surface of the Earth at the Institute of Contemporary Arts London.


Boyle Family has exhibited in galleries and museums world-wide, including representing Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1978 and the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1987. Their exhibition 'Beyond Image' at London's Hayward Gallery in 1986 attracted 176,000 visitors and they had a highly successful retrospective exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 2003 to mark the fortieth anniversary of Boyle and Hills' first exhibition in London and Edinburgh in 1963. Their work is represented in many private and public collections with major works in forty museums collections worldwide, including Tate Britain, Stuttgart Staatsgalerie; Los Angeles County Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, National Gallery, Berlin, National Gallery of Australia, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the British Council.