The elevation of the ordinary, so apparent in Sue Collis’s work of yesterday’s entry, is an instinct shared by today’s artist Andrew Miller. Andy is a Glasgow-based artist whose work frequently involves salvaging discarded, everyday objects, re-inventing them in order to question the way objects are valued and used. He is interested in the ambiguity that sometimes sits between notions of form and function – and nowhere is his delight in rescuing the redundant more evident than in the series of totemic lampshade sculptures that he has made in recent years.
The image here shows three works at the Yinchuan Museum of Contemporary Art for the first Yinchuan Biennale in 2016, titled ‘Maybelle, Carole Anne and Mary Beth’. We showed their cousin ‘Barbara Anne’ in our first exhibition of Andy’s work in 2012, and he has since made them for sites as far flung as Dallas and Beijing. The geography of this is interesting – especially in relation to their carefully chosen names which seem to have something to do with the Midwest, despite their very British sensibility. There is something of all our grandmothers in these works, mixed perhaps with a little Brancusi, and in order to make them Andy spends months emptying the charity shops of Glasgow and Edinburgh of any and every available shade. Each contains and suggests a forgotten story, the fragments re-assembled and the story re-written within the new work. They are at once funny, poignant and despite their towering forms, strangely human.