The Lady and The Unicorn exhibition showcases an evocative suite of prints that reinterprets the myth of the unicorn. It is the result of a creative collaboration between the London-based Australian poet Peter Porter and Arthur Boyd. The exhibition confirms Boyd’s great talent and proficiency in illustration and etching.
In the early 1970s English publisher and art critic Tom Rosenthal proposed that Boyd and Porter work together. Over a period of 15 years from 1973 to 1988, poet Peter Porter collaborated with Arthur Boyd on four major projects: Jonah (1973), The Lady and The Unicorn (1973-74 prints,1975 book), Narcissus (1984) and Mars (1988). The collaborations were pivotal to both of their careers.
The poetry of Peter Porter provided great inspiration to Boyd and both men were interested in reinterpreting myths and legends to comment on the political and social climate of the present. Boyd responded to the work of many writers and poets but it was with Porter that he created the greatest output. Described as a ‘distant union’, their practice was to work separately, usually on opposite sides of the world.
To accompany the exhibition, Bundanon has developed an online discovery trail for families with young children who visit the exhibition.
The catalogue is a beautiful 84 page representation of the original project, featuring Peter Porter’s poems in full, alongside Arthur Boyd’s illustrations.
Included is a written response to the writings of Peter Porter and imagery of Arthur Boyd by Australian poet and emeritus professor at the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne, Chris Wallace-Crabbe