Garry Fabian Miller/ Kenny Dingwall

March 2003

Publication: The Sunday Herald

There’s no more apt a way to describe Garry Fabian Miller's artworks than as paintings with light, a description which conjures neatly the etymological roots of the term photography. As with any artist worthy of the term, Fabian Miller's work has evolved over time his early pieces as seen here in 'The Sea Horizon' series, completed in the mid- seventies, are photographs in the true sense of the term. Taken over a period of month's from a fixed point‑overlooking the Severn estuary, they show a Turneresque vision of sea and sky in all its moods. The subtlety of theever‑changing light creates a somtimes blurred but always beautiful spectacle ‑ the artist in thrall to nature.

 

Fabian Miller's recent work created in the last year or so retains something of the mood of these early studies, although in terms of their technique, they are radically different. Rather than pointing his lens at an external landscape, Fabian Miller now creates internal mindscapes solely within the confines of the darkroom. Using various objects and constructions, which he positions between a light‑source and photographic paper, Fabian Miller crafts finely toned and textured inner worlds which, nevertheless, make some kind of external references. The 'Golden Storm' series ‑ created by the effect of directing light through oil ‑ tease the eye and brain by forcing them to construct a reality, a result which the works themselves continuously thwart. Just as Romanticism was premised on the idea of the subjective self imposing its values on a seemingly objective reality, so Fabian Miller uses abstract form and colour, allowing 'open' readings of his work.

 

Throughout his long career Kenny Dingwall has also used the language of abstraction to create work which hinted at but never truly revealed the internal workings of the artist's psyche. Latterly, Dingwall has employed geometric principles in his painting, a technique which he has extended to his work at Sleeper, an occasional art space run by Riach and Hall Architects. The venue deliberately presents a challenge to the artists who must negotiate the restrictions imposed this small, windowless ‘white cube’ which many will find airless and claustrophobic. In each corner Dingwall has created a small‑and delicate graphite drawing which visually interacts with the room by playing with our perceptions. Cleverly and with consumate slealthDingwall interacts with and alters the dimensions of the space using a variety of perspectival interventions. As you move around this brightly lit and disorienting room, each of the four drawings also changes in relation to the viewer. Sometimes the effect is like being in a hall of mirrors; at other‑times the one-dimensional drawing (imposed on a three dimensional space) tricks the mind by suggesting alternately concave and convex volumes.

 

Punctuating and complementing these far from simple drawings are two painted sculptural forms, located an opposite walls. Although different in colour and shape, the works are cleatly linked and establish a kind of visual conversation.

 

 

Garry Fabian Miller

The Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh

 

 

Kenneth Dingwall

Sleeper, Edinburgh