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Garry Fabian Miller

Garry Fabian Miller (b. Bristol, 1957) is best known for his boldly coloured abstract work made in the darkroom without a camera. His practice is characterised by long exposures of between one and fifteen hours, a distinct contrast to the photographic norm of the split-second shutter release. Fabian Miller has mastered the quantities of light needed to achieve nuanced and precise colours. Channelling light through coloured glass and liquid using cut paper forms, Fabian Miller creates luminous alternative realities that flow between pure abstraction and imagined landscapes. Light, time and colour thus become both medium and subject in his work. These themes are deeply rooted in Fabian Miller’s sense of place as a rural artist and his connection to nature.  Walking the surrounding landscape of his Dartmoor studio, absorbing his surroundings before entering the darkroom to begin image-making. The artist becomes the camera, using a language of colour and form developed over 40 years.

Garry Fabian Miller’s first major body of work, Sections of England: The Sea Horizon (1976), made when he was just 19 years old, saw early success in exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery in London (1977) and Arnolfini in Bristol (1979) and was later acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The Sea Horizons comprised of forty photographs taken from a fixed point on the roof of his then home overlooking the Severn Estuary. Lens, film, and exposure remained constant so that only the only variables between the forty images were the time of day and the weather. This series, alongside an earlier intensive study of the remote island community of the Shetlands, heightened Fabian Miller’s interest in rural communities. His choice of an artist’s life outside of metropolitan culture is often likened to the philosophy of the “country potter” drawing inspiration from slowing down and embracing a hands-on approach to the creative process.

Since 1976 Garry Fabian Miller has worked exclusively with light-sensitive Cibachrome paper. In 1984 he put down the camera, working in the darkroom with the light from the enlarger. The production of Cibachrome paper declined sharply in 2005 and fully ceased in 2011, thus prompting Fabian Miller’s Year One (2005) and Year Two (2007) series. In response, he has begun a series of collaborative projects that reimagine his camera-less works. Between 2014 and 2018 he collaborated with Dovecot Tapestry Studios, Edinburgh on a collection of rugs and on the tapestry Voyage into the deepest darkest blue. In 2018 the Victoria and Albert Museum premiered Fabian Miller’s first film, Last evenings, a collaboration with composer and musician Oliver Coates and on-going collaboration with poet Alice Oswald.

Garry Fabian Miller is currently working in an intense period of knowing that his final Cibachrome print could be made any day as pushes the limits of the last of his materials.

The Victoria & Albert Museum has the largest public collection of the artist’s work having collected pieces for over 25 years, with the Year One cabinet on permanent display within the Museum’s Print Room. His work is held in many public institutions including Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art; The Fogg Art Museum, Boston; the Government Art Collection, UK; Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield; Houston Museum of Fine Art; Kasama Nichido Museum of Art, Tokyo; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museet for Fotokunst, Odense; Museum of Contemporary Art, Bangkok; Museum Ritter Waldenbunch, Germany; Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach; Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney; and the Sir Elton John Collection, among others.

Since the winter of 1989 Garry Fabian Miller has lived with his family on Dartmoor in the South West of England.

 

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SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2021
Deep Time, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.

2019
Garry Fabian Miller: Midwinter Blaze, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK.

2018
Garry Fabian Miller: Voyage, Dovecot Studio, Edinburgh, UK.

2016
Garry Fabian Miller: Réflexions Dans Une Chambre Noir, Galerie Gimpel & Muller, Paris, France.

2015
Bliss, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.

2013
Voyage, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.
The Middle Place, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK.

2011
Rayons de couleurs, Galerie Gimpel & Müller, Paris, France.
That I May See, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.

2010
Garry Fabian Miller, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.

2009
The Colours, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK.
Time Passage, Abbot Hall, Kendall, UK.

2008
Authentic Tidings of Invisible Things, An Tobar, Isle of Mull, UK.
The Years, Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan.
Year One, Newlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn, UK.

2007
Garry Fabian Miller and Edmund de Waal, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK.
Year One, New Art Centre, Salisbury, UK.

2006
Garry Fabian Miller, Goss Gallery, Dallas, USA.

2005
Becoming Magma, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.
Real in the World, Mead Gallery, University of Warwick (touring).
Galerie Nichido, Paris, France.
Exposure, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK.
Rencontres d’Arles, International Festival of Photography, Arles, France.

2004
Tracing Light, The Cleveland Museum of Arts, USA.
Northern Suns Golden Storms, Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan.
Blue, Gold, Hamiltons, London, UK.
Imagined, Portfolio Group, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

2003
Golden Storms, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK.
Burning, Thought of a Night Sea, Valentina Moncada, Rome, Italy.

2002
Flair, Tokyo Design Centre, Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan.
Golden Burning, Night Cities, Purdy Hicks, London, UK.
Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, UK.

2001
Petworth Windows, Purdy Hicks, London.
Gallery Camera Work, Berlin, Germany.

2000
Thought of a Night Sea, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh.
Solar Eclipse, Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, USA.
Six Chapel row Contemporary Art, Bath, UK.

1999
Towards a Solar Eclipse, Tate, St Ives, UK.
Tracing Light, Petworth House, Sussex, UK.

1998
In the Shadow of the Sun, Hamiltons Gallery, London, UK.
Sections of England: The Sea Horizon, Valentina Moncada, Rome, Italy.

1997
De La War Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, UK.
Sections of England: The Sea Horizon, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK.
Sections of England: The Sea Horizon, Michael Hue Williams Fine Art, London, UK.

1996
Elective Affinities, Michael Hue Williams Fine Art, London, UK.
Of Sons and Angels, Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark.

1995
Observances, The Pier Gallery, Orkney, UK.

1994
Dawn, Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan.
Natural Mechanics, Laurence Miller Gallery, New York, USA.

1993
Home Land, Rebecca Hossack, St James’s, London, UK.
Illumine, The Photographers Gallery, London (touring).

1991
The Gatherer, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, UK. Touring to: Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance; Mead Gallery, University of Warwick, Cambridge Darkroom; Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, UK.

1988
A Gathering in for the Healing, Natural History Museum, London, UK.

1987
The Tree: A Return to Grace, Usher Gallery, Lincoln, UK.

1986
Man from Hunter to Gatherer, Axiom, Cheltenham, UK. Touring to: Impressions, York, UK; Watershed, Bristol, UK.

1985
Untitled Gallery, Sheffield, UK.

1984
Festival Gallery, Bath, Usher Gallery, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK.

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2021
Waiting II, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.

2020
Photo London Digital. Online Art Fair.
Waiting, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.

2018
Twenty, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK.
Jacob’s Ladder, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK.

2015
Dwelling, Dovecot Gallery, Edinburgh, UK.

2014
Spectres, Nara Roesler Gallery, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

2010
Shadow Catchers, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.
Photography Now: vision, devotion, revelation, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.

2009
Photography Now, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.

2008
Photography Now, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.

2007-8
The Long View: Garry Fabian Miller, Edmund de Waal, Michael Kenna; New Art Centre, Roche Court, UK.

2007
Photography Now, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.

2006-7
Alchemy, Harewood House, Leeds (touring).

2005
Rencontres d’Arles, International Festival of Photography, Arles, France.

2004
Lightfall, Philips Gallery, Taunton, UK.
From Here to Eternity: Vija Celmins, Susan Derges, Richard Long, Garry Fabian Miller, James Turrell; Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK.
Seeing Salvation Now, North Light Gallery, Huddersfield, UK.

2003
Optic Nerve, Abstract Colour Photography, Wolsey Art Gallery, Ipswich, UK and Photofusion, London, UK.

2002
Four Photographers, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK.

2001
At Sea, Tate Liverpool, UK.
Planet Earth, City Art Gallery, Leicester, UK.

2000
Unique Photographers, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, USA.
Chorus of Light: Photographs from the Sir Elton John Collection, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Breathless: Photography and Time, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK.

1999
Revelation, Purdy Hicks Gallery, London, UK.
A Focus for Prayer, Six Chapel Row Contemporary Art, Bath, UK.

1998
Several Exceptionally Good Recently Acquired Pictures XII, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, USA.

1997
Several Exceptionally Good Recently Acquired Pictures XI, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, USA.

1996
Under the Sun, Fraenkel Gallery, USA.
The Inner Eye, South Bank Centre, London, UK.

1995
Heaven’s Embroidered Cloths, National Museum of Film, Photography & Television, Bradford, UK.
20 Modern British Photographers, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK. Context and Continuity, Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance, UK.

1994
Illumine, The Verula Monastery, Tarazona, Spain.

1993
New Inhabitants, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, UK.
An Undiscovered Country, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, UK.

1992-4
Special Collections, The Photographic Order from Pop to Now, International Centre of Photography, New York, (touring).

1990
The Journey, Lincoln Cathedral, UK.
Collecting for the Future: A Decade of Contemporary Acquisitions, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK.

1989-93
Anima Mundi, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa, Canada.

1989-90
New Icons, Mead Gallery, University of Warwick, UK. The Tree of Life, South Bank Centre, London (touring).

1989
Out of the Wood, Crafts Council of Great Britain (touring).
Towards a Bigger Picture, Tate, Liverpool, UK.
Artists in National Parks, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK. Photo Sculpture, Watershed, Bristol, UK.

1988
Knowing Your Place, Artists; Parish Maps, Common Ground (touring).

1987
Towards a Bigger Picture, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.

1986
Image and Exploration, The Photographers Gallery, London, UK. (touring)
Land Matters, The Elements, Milton Keynes Exhibition Gallery, UK. (touring)

1977
Serpentine Gallery, London, UK.

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France
British Land Company, London, UK
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA
Conoco PLC
Deutsche Morgan Grenfell
Devon County Art Collection, UK
The Fogg Art Museum, Boston, USA
The Gillman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
Goldman Sachs
Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, USA
Government Art Collection, UK
Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, UK
Hiscox PLC
Houston Museum of Fine Arts, USA
Sir Elton John Collection
Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark
Kasama Nichido Museum of Art, Tokyo
Louis Vuitton, Paris
National Museum of Film, Photography & Television, Bradford, UK
National Trust Foundation for Art, UK
National Westminster Bank Collection, London, UK
Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney, UK
Prendimi, Japan
Queen Alice Aqua
University of Warwick, UK
Usher Gallery, Lincoln, UK
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bliss, HackelBury Fine Art, London and Filtow, Newton Abbott, 2015.
Home Dartmoor, Filtow, Newton Abbott, 2012.
The Colour of Time, Black Dog Publishing, London, 2010.
Time Passage, Garry Fabian Miller, James Hyman Fine Art, London, 2008.
Year One, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, 2007.
Exposure, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, 2006.
Illumine, Martin Barnes, Merrell Publishers Ltd, London, 2005.
Thoughts of a Night Sea: Photographs by Garry Fabian Miller, Lavinia Greenlaw, Merrel Publishers Ltd, 2003.
Tracing Light, David Alan Mellor, Garry Fabian Miller, Photo Works, 2001.
Under the Sun, Christopher Bucklow, Susan Derges, Garry Fabian Miller, Adam Fuss,Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, 1997.
The Gatherer – Garry Fabian Miller, Rupert Martin, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, 1991.