The 7th of our year long series of 26 pairings presented new bodies of work by the camera-less photographer Garry Fabian Miller and potter Edmund de Waal - although potter seems a somewhat inadequate description of an artist whose work most usually takes the form of large scale composite sculptures and installation pieces.
De Waal is also a distinguished writer and lecturer and this pairing celebrates a very real collaboration by the two artists with the publication of Year One, a new book devoted to Fabian Miller's most recent work, with an introductory essay by de Waal. In it he notes:
"Year One is the record of an artist's passage through a year. Every day for 12 months Garry Fabian Miller worked in the darkroom of his studio on the edge of Dartmoor to create a daily image. Each new image related to the previous days work, each image generating a change, sometimes gentle, sometimes radical. Year One is structured around these twelve months, each one named from the Celtic calendar. This is not some whimsical attempt to give spiritual significance to the work, but an abstracting device, a way of distancing us from literality. This record of a year, a skein of days unfolding, is remarkable"?.
A description that could equally be applied to his own methods: a pattern of working and exploring in sequence and in series. It is a trait that de Waal knows well, most literally in a new work A Change in the Weather shown in his groundbreaking exhibition at MIMA, Middlesbrough which collects 365 small vessels across twelve shelves, a shimmering mass of shifting glazes and forms.
Miller's year amounted to a grand total of 96 works, eight from each month and one example of each has been gathered together in a collector's cabinet: a free standing set of 12 walnut drawers, each revealing the work within. Something similar is true of the new work that de Waal has made in 4 wall-mounted, lacquered cabinets: each with a closed door that opens to reveal the treasures within.Titled North, North West the work takes some of its inspiration from the light and structure of Miller's work.