Garry Fabian Miller (born 1957, Bristol) is one of the most progressive figures in contemporary fine art photography. He lives with his family on Dartmoor in Devon, where his work has evolved out of the cycle of daily walks that has been at the heart of his practice since the winter of 1989.
He gained international acclaim in the 1970s for photographs of sky, land and sea, most notably for the series Sections of England: The Sea Horizon (1975-1976), which were first shown at the Arnolfini in Bristol in 1979 and positioned his work in the context of the English Land Art movement.
Since the mid-1980s, he has worked without a camera to experiment with the possibilities of light as both medium and subject.
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London, holds the largest collection of his work, acquired over the last thirty years. His series Year One – with a print made every day over the course of a year – is on permanent display in the Museum. In the autumn of 2018, the V&A premiered Fabian Miller’s first film Last evenings, a re-invention of the magic lantern slide performances of the early 1800s, in collaboration with composer and musician Oliver Coates.
Such collaborations are increasingly a part of Fabian Miller’s working practice as he explores ways of re-imagining and repurposing his photographic exposures in a world beyond the darkroom, and without the materials of analogue photography. He is also engaged in a series of on-going performances and publications with the poet Alice Oswald. Further recent collaborations have included wool-woven rugs and a tapestry with Dovecot Tapestry Studios, Edinburgh, and an ongoing series of tapestries in Shetland wool, Italian mohair and Japanese silk with the Bristol Weaving Mill.
As Fabian Miller looks to the future, research has begun into a new kind of colour production which looks to Ethel Mairet’s 1916 publication A Book on Vegetable Dyes. Bringing his work back into the context of land art, in which he first started, the project Three Acres of Colour is a proposal to grow the primary colours in the English landscape over the coming years, in an unfolding story which honours Mairet’s view that ‘strong and beautiful colour is an essential to the full joy of life’.
Alongside his major exhibition ADORE at the Arnolfini, celebrating five decades of his work in the context of the artists and makers with whom he has shared a path, the spring of 2023 also sees Fabian Miller exhibit the full sequence of Sea Horizons under the title Morwellian at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. Running concurrently is the culmination of The Light Gatherers, a series of six lectures, delivered between March 2022 and October 2023, exploring the history of the darkroom and a lifetime of very personal picture-making. The series forms part of Fabian Miller’s Honorary fellowship with Bodleian Libraries, at the University of Oxford, who will publish his memoir Dark Room in 2023.
His work is held in private and public collections including Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Bangkok, China; The Gillman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; Government Art Collection, London, UK; Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA; Sir Elton John Collection, UK; Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark; Kasama Nichido Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan; National Museum of Art, Florida, USA; Pier Arts Centre, Orkney, Scotland, and the Museum Ritter, Waldenbuch, Germany.
Garry Fabian Miller was awarded an honorary fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 2017.
ADORE is Garry Fabian Miller’s third exhibition at Arnolfini in his home city of Bristol.
Garry Fabian Miller is represented by:
Garry Fabian Miller
Familiarise yourself with this wonderful artist through his series of lectures given at The Bodleian Libraries, Oxford University, in 2022.
In February 2022, Garry Fabian Miller was on BBC Radio 4’s Art of Now.
17 February 2023