Garry Fabian Miller
Garry Fabian Miller, English (B. 1957)
As one of the most forward-thinking photographers of his time, Garry Fabian Miller’s ‘camera-less’ photography expands the possibilities of the medium; 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 curating light through a variety of translucent materials, Fabian Miller’s crafted exposures attempt to capture the aura of an ancestral and mythical landscape.
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, conventional for British photography of the time. By way of documenting and exploring diverse conditions of human existence, from urban homelessness to a bucolic ruggedness, Fabian Miller delved his interests into the ephemeral and enigmatic qualities of rural England. 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 South West corner of England, Garry Fabian Miller started producing photographs by passing light through diaphanous objects and liquids onto light-sensitive paper. The paper contained dyes that would react according to the exposures, pushing the limitations of his materials to reveal qualities of light and color that reflected Fabian Miller’s thoughtful interpretations of the region’s ambiance.
Since the mid-1980’s, Fabian Miller uses Dartmoor as inspiration, an ancient moorland in Southern Devon, known for a myriad of 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 speed with a snapshot. 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 prior to exposure. In effect, Fabian Miller recalls the sentiment of wonder and fascination of early photography, creating work that strongly reacts to energy as well as to its viewer.
After the dye destruction print paper ceases production, a material he has used exclusively for his work since the late 1970’s, it is envisaged that Fabian Miller’s darkroom will be dismantled and rebuilt as an exhibit in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. His work is held in many private and public collections including Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA; Deutsche Morgan Grenfell; Fidelity, London, UK; The Fogg Art Museum, Boston, USA; The Gillman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; Goldman Sachs; Goss-Michael Foundation; 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, Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney, UK; Museum Ritter, Waldenbuch, Germany; University of Warwick, UK; Usher Gallery, Lincoln, UK; Victoria & Albert Museum, UK.