Mark Boyle originally began collaborating with his partner, Joan Hills, in the 1960s with assemblages, light shows and happenings. In 1964, they embarked on their best known work, Journey to the Surface of the Earth, which encompasses many different series and projects and involves recreating randomly-selected parts of the earth's surface in painstaking detail. Through the faithful reproduction of such places the Boyle family leave it entirely up to the viewer to interpret the works. Mark Boyle wrote of his works, 'I have tried to cut out of my work any hint of originality, style, design, wit, elegance or significance. If any of these are to be discovered then the credit belongs to the viewer' (see exhibition catalogue, Presentation by Mark Boyle, London, Indica Gallery, 1966).
The Boyle family began making the Broken Path Series in 1986 and some of the works from this series were shown in the extremely well-attended Hayward Gallery show in 1986, Beyond Image: Boyle Family, November 1986 - January 1987 (see fig. 1).
The Boyle children, Sebastian and Georgia, were involved in the creation of the works from a young age. However, it was not until 1985 that the works were officially exhibited as Boyle Family.