Garry Fabian Miller has a deserved reputation as one of the most progressive artists working with photography today. Much of Miller’s early work was landscape based. He gained international acclaim in the 1970’s for his photographs of sky, land and sea, particularly for the series titled Sea Horizons of England that were first shown at the Arnolfini Gallery in 1979.

Since the mid-1980s, Miller has worked without a camera using the techniques of early nineteenth century photographic exploration to experiment with the nature and possibilities of light as both medium and subject. His earliest camera-less photographs look back to the pioneers of photography in the 1830s and 1840s, passing light through translucent objects, principally leaves, seedpods and flower heads, into an enlarger and using them as transparencies through which light passed on to light-sensitive paper.


Since 1992, Miller explored a more abstract form of picture-making by passing light through coloured glass and liquid and cut paper forms. In sharp contrast to the norm of photographic exposures that last for a fragment of a second, Miller often uses long exposures lasting anywhere between one and twenty hours to create his unique and luminous images. As Christina Spens (Studio International) has said, 'Experiencing these works there is a growing feeling of being in some out-of-body space, in which our consciousness becomes an energy similar to light itself.'


Whilst the months of lockdown saw the artist striving in the darkroom and studio against the end of photography as he knows it, as the reserves of his materials and chemistry dwindled, more recently Miller has embarked on a poignant project entitled Three Acres of Colour, a five-year project taking place on a farm in Wiltshire. Drawing influence from early 20th Century weaver and dyer Ethel Mariet, Miller is growing vivid strips of natural dye-plants: weld, woad, and madder, to produce extraordinary hues of yellow, blue, and red. This turn towards natural processes is a response not only to the growing global anxieties surrounding chemical dyes, but also Miller’s personal and ongoing battle with bladder cancer, thought to be the result of a life-time of contact with highly toxic dark room colours.

The solo exhibition Midwinter Blaze was presented at Ingleby in 2019, accompanied by a major new book, BLAZE, introduced by Edmund de Waal.


2023 marked a celebration of Garry Fabian Miller’s life and work. A survey exhibition, Adore, opened at the Arnolfini (18 February – 28 May, 2023); a major exhibition celebrating a lifetime of his work. The show was accompanied by the launch of a new publication ADORE, which features work from the show and beyond, exploring the many inspirational artists, makers, writers and thinkers that have influenced his lengthy career. This exhibition coincided with the opening of Môrwelion; a solo exhibition at the National Museum of Cardiff (18 February – 10 September, 2023), which featured 40 photographs from Fabian Miller’s series The Sea Horizon, which he made between 1976-77. Furthermore, an exhibition and publication of his memoir, The Dark Room, was produced as part of his Honorary Fellowship with the Bodleian Library, Oxford University.


Miller is represented in numerous private and public collections worldwide, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.