Martin Boyce: An Inn For Phantoms Of The Outside And In

Exhibition continues to 3 November 2019

Sleep opens within us an inn for phantoms. In the morning we must sweep out the shadows.

Gaston Bachelard

La poétique de la rêverie (The Poetics of Reverie) (1960)


Mount Stuart Trust is delighted to announce a solo exhibition by Martin Boyce this summer.  Boyce presents a major outdoor commission in the landscaped grounds of Mount Stuart. Inspired by the memory of a tennis court long since dismantled, his ongoing interest in abandoned and disused spaces is awakened. The court is close to fiction, undocumented, a relic from the 1970’s. The artist reconsiders and recomposes the structure. Connecting with previous works such as the iconic 2002 Tramway installation Our Love is Like the Flowers, the Rain, the Sea and the Hours, Boyce continues his exploration of sites in between use and misuse, intention and subsequent being. His installation for Mount Stuart involves fragments of these landscapes, an abstracted sense of place rather than a literal description: “one place shipwrecked within another”.

“Over the years I’ve photographed a number of abandoned or disused tennis courts and I’ve collected similar images from books or cut from magazines. There is something fascinating about this rectangle of chain link fence that at once demarcates one place from another, one delineated use or activity from another. Equally fascinating is how over time this idea of use can shift, from organised tennis games to more improvised versions of play to, in a state of disrepair, a place to meet and hangout. It is this in between state that interests me.”

At Mount Stuart itself, the series of framed photographic works A Partial Eclipse II, 2017, is exhibited in the vaulted sandstone Crypt. These works are part of an ongoing library of images that feed into Boyce’s sculptural works.  They reflect a certain pattern of landscapes and objects to which the artist is drawn and speak to his practice, which explores the space between the viewer and the subject “until the space itself becomes the subject”. The images resonate with a sense of stillness, of distance, and the uncertainty of time and place.


Martin Boyce was born in Hamilton, Scotland in 1967. He studied at Glasgow School of Art 1986 -1990 (BFA) and 1995 -1997 (MFA) and California Institute of the Arts 1996 (MFA exchange program). He is an artist whose sculptural works recall and reference the materials, textures and forms of the built urban environment. Using the iconography of both the everyday and the history of modern architecture and design, his sculptural installations form immersive environments and poetic landscapes.

Boyce represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale 2009 with the exhibition No Reflections and was the winner of the 2011 Turner Prize.

Boyce recently unveiled a major new commission Remembered Skies at the Tate Britain (2017) as part of the Clore Galleries and is Professor of Sculpture at HFBK, Hamburg. He is represented by The Modern Institute, Glasgow, Tanya Bonakdar, New York, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich and Esther Schipper, Berlin and currently lives and works in Glasgow.

Image Caption

Martin Boyce, A Partial Eclipse II, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and The Modern Institute-Toby Webster Ltd. Image-Keith Hunter

  • Venue

    Mount Stuart

  • Address

    Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute, UK

  • Phone Number

    +44 (0) 1700 503877

  • Website