This wording refers to illegitimate children of white colonials and Aboriginals. The Australian government, in several official documents from 1886, did not provide a satisfactory political solution to their plight. Under the excuse of protecting the races, they were removed from their families on both sides and subjected to an almost absolute apartheid.
Heavy restrictions on marriage inspired to Boyd from 1957 a series of paintings depicting various scenes of love, marriage and death of a half-caste. The white dress of the bride brings a shiny contrast to the physical and moral distress of the husband. This set altogether narrative and activist is conceived with much humor.
Bride running away, 92 x 122 cm, painted in 1957, shows the bride seeking to escape the bridegroom who desperately tends his arms. This work was sold for AUD 1.68 million including premium by Sotheby's Australia on August 14, 2012.
On The frightened bridegroom, 62 x 63 cm, painted in 1958, the blue skinned Aboriginal man is alone, curled up in a gloomy surrounding yet illuminated by a ghostly light which is like a souvenir of the wedding. This work was sold for AUD 1.2 million including premium by the same auction house on August 23, 2011.
On November 24 in Sydney, Sotheby's Australia sells Sleeping Bride, oil and tempera on canvas 92 x 122 cm painted in 1957 or 1958, lot 17 estimated AUD 1M. The bride is alone, her blue face and her bouquet on the ground. Birds are watching. The veils are bright white, but an insect is walking therein.
SOLD for AUD 1.6M including premium