Garry Fabian Miller
As one of the most forward-thinking photographers of his time, Garry Fabian-Miller’s ‘camera-less photography expands the medium’s possibilities. Working meticulously from his darkroom, Fabian Miller creates immersive, transcendent compositions that appear to glow and palpitate in place, captivating by their sheer magnitude and rich chromatic values. By physically controlling the passing of light through various translucent materials over time, Fabian Miller’s crafted exposures are abstract compositions based on ancestral and mythical landscapes of where the artist lived and works.
Garry Fabian Miller was born in Bristol, England, in 1957. Beginning in his teenage years, Fabian Miller used photography as a tool for documentary projects. His parents owned a portrait studio, and he grew up apprenticing in the darkroom. By documenting and exploring diverse conditions of human existence, from urban homelessness to a bucolic ruggedness, Fabian Miller delved his interests into rural England’s ephemeral and enigmatic qualities. Focusing his aesthetic towards an increasingly profound way to interpret the elements, Fabian Miller investigates the possibilities of time and space through the more organic process of camera-less photography. Working from a remote southwest corner of England, Garry Fabian Miller continues producing photographs through the basic components of color, time, and form captured onto light-sensitive paper. The special paper contains dyes that react according to Fabian Miller’s exposures. The work pushes the limitations of his materials to reveal qualities of light and color that reflect Fabian Miller’s thoughtful interpretations of the region’s ambiance.
Since the mid-1980s, Fabian Miller has used Dartmoor as inspiration, an ancient moorland in Southern Devon known for many myths and legends of English folklore. His rudimentary photographic process derives from an association with nature and keenness towards a tangible approach to photography. Fabian Miller’s calculated exposures, lasting from thirty seconds to twenty hours, are more acquainted with a painter’s grasp of craftsmanship than a photographer’s click of the shutter. Fabian Miller effectively paints with light, mapping out the direction of the light through cut-paper shapes and sketching studies for desired shapes and forms before exposure. In effect, Fabian Miller recalls the sentiment of wonder and fascination of early photography, creating work that strongly reacts to energy and its viewer.
Fabian Miller’s work has been the subject of several monographs, including Illumine (2005), Year One (2007), The Colour of Time (2010), and Blaze (2018). In 2017 he was awarded an honorary fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society. In 2021/22, Fabian Miller was awarded an honorary fellowship by the Bodleian Library and will lecture at Oxford University. Here, he will consider the central place of the darkroom in the history of chemical photography, this coinciding with the end of his darkroom at the end of fifty years.
SELECTED MUSEUM COLLECTIONS:
• Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK,
• Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, US
• Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, JP
• Museet fur Fotokunst, Odense, DK