We are delighted to invite world-renowned Belgian ceramicist Daisy Boman (b.1948) back to Woolff Gallery with a selection of her wall mounted sculptural ‘Bo-men’.
Daisy Boman studied Interior design & photography at Antwerp’s Academy of Fine Art, she later started to work with ceramics but perhaps the most significant influence on her work was the 5 years which she spent living in Johannesburg, South Africa. Here her artwork matured but became strongly affected by social aspects and characteristics of South African society during Apartheid. After returning to Belgium in 1986 Boman’s inner turmoil gave birth to her ‘Bo-men’. She later presented a solo exhibition in Antwerp, where her work resonated with this African influence, an influence which has remained consistent within her works to this day.
Daisy Boman’s work depicts a collective goal, evoking a sense of belonging, a united community, or destiny. Sometimes dozens of her ‘Bo-men’ characters strive, climb and struggle for the same goal. In contrast, a lone ceramic figure, or pair of figures are distanced by white space, powerfully communicating emotions of the need for human trust or togetherness, these seemingly humorous little men characterise a much deeper significance and worth. Their rich subtext provides a unique commentary on how we handle life’s personal challenges, disputes and hurdles.
Daisy Boman believes we are all ‘from the same mould’, inured by the society in which we dwell, so each ‘Bo-man’ has a face without features. Their form transcends race and nationality and connects with the common thread of humanity. They are without colour and the white clay bakes almost ironically into the colour of mourning, it is the hue of pain and sympathy, but it also represents hope, the sun and life. The supple and malleable clay, like the human form, is hardened by exposure and cracks – giving each individual form his own unique human character.
Boman’s work is conceived from her distinctive self-expression: plain, simple and contemplative in manner, she offers us a satisfying and ‘unique look at ourselves’. The sculptress reminds us that we are not all that different from anyone else in the world, for we all share the same struggle to define our everyday lives.