Phantasmagoria is an abstract expression of metaphysical ideas. The Id (subconscious) and Ego (conscious) are two of the most influential forces in our lives. The internal dialogue in which they are engaged crafts our thoughts, desires, dreams and fears. These pictures are an effort to visualise that dialogue.

The word ‘phantasmagoria’ references an illusionary practice that first thrilled audiences in the 18th Century. By projecting moving images onto clouds of drifting smoke, showmen of the day would convince their quivering audiences that they had broken through to the spirit world.

What they did was artificial but it evoked an essential energy that animates our bodies - the soul. From Christianity to Taoism, the soul can be found in spiritual traditions throughout the world. Though not tangible, it can be felt and, like the body, can be nourished or killed. Through Phantasmagoria, we seek to capture elements of this nebulous realm.

The 12 works were created by CecilBoyd using an original combination of processes and media. Painted backdrops establish an aesthetic mood, over which their dreamlike subjects are photographically layered. The images are then framed as interactive light installations. Using a dedicated controller, the viewer can select different layers of colour individually or leave them to continuously flow through the spectrum from one to the next.

Where pop artists of the past would make screen prints using differing palettes to repeat the image, CecilBoyd present many potential palettes in one image. As Goethe wrote, colour possesses an ‘empirical feeling’. Having the ability to choose the hue of the image according to any external variable allows the viewer to have an enhanced emotional engagement with the piece.

CecilBoyd’s first solo-exhibition was at the Chelsea Arts Club in October 2017. This was followed by exhibitions at the Fang Yuan Gallery, 798 Art District, Beijing and the Weihai Peninsular Art Museum, Shandong Province, China.


I worked as Mario Testino’s archivist.. I digitised and categorised his work first on my gap year then on and off during my History of Art degree at the University of Manchester. On graduating, I assisted the photographer Alex Bramall for seven months.

I see light as a photographer’s paintbrush. The canvas of composition and colour already surrounds us. For this reason I have sought to develop a painter’s eye to frame and light my images of people and places. In my view, the best images are self-enclosed truths.

I have had three solo exhibitions, in London at the Muse Gallery on Portobello Road in November 2013, in a cinema in Beijing in November 2014 and I was also part of a group show on the Strand with the Bernard Raphael Gallery in April 2015.

Our first exhibition as CecilBoyd was at the Chelsea Arts Club in October 2017. This was followed by exhibitions at the Fang Yuan Gallery, 798 Art District, Beijing and the Weihai Peninsular Art Museum, Shandong Province, China.


I have been a practicing artist since leaving school in 2010. I started out producing pen and ink drawings of London landscapes and people’s pets. One of my more notable achievements was the Bishop of London selecting my watercolour of St. Paul’s for his Christmas card.

I have a background in lighting and set building in the film industry. In 2012 I helped set up and build a film studio and production company called BlackBull productions. Whilst involved in the venture I produced, built sets and lit many short films, music videos, television programmes and adverts.

I am no longer involved in the film industry, having found a niche painting murals. The first of which was a large Amazonian jungle scene for a Zoo in Norfolk. The most recent was the decorative painting for a house in Belgravia.

After exhibiting a body of work at the Artspace Gallery in Chelsea in 2014 I met and teamed up with the photographer Hubert Cecil. This new work had opened my eyes to many new exciting areas within the art world.