Camera-less photography: Garry Fabian Miller

Garry Fabian Miller is one of the most progressive figures in fine art photography. Born in 1957, he has made exclusively 'camera-less' photographs since the mid 1980s. He works in the darkroom, shining light through coloured glass vessels and over cut-paper shapes to create forms that record directly onto photographic paper. These rudimentary methods recall the earliest days of photography, when the effects of light on sensitised paper seemed magical.

Across languages and cultures, the earliest colour categories are believed to have been those of light and dark, followed almost universally by a term for red. Fabian Miller's images therefore suggest primal experience and a definition of colour and shape that can be understood on several levels.

The titles Becoming Magma and From the Red Pool refer to molten rock beneath the earth's surface. The horizontal images conjure a prehistoric landscape. The circular pieces evoke a planetary or cosmic form, perhaps the Zen enso, or circles of enlightenment- a symbol of the cycle of life.

Martin Barnes, Curator of Photographs, 2005

Written to accompany the Garry Fabian Miller exhibition.

The display coincided with the publication of Illumine: Photographs by Garry Fabian Miller, A Retrospective by Martin Barnes (Merrell Publishers, London and New York 2005).

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Event - A History of Photography: Series and Sequences

Fri 06 February 2015–Sun 01 November 2015

DISPLAY: Photographs draws upon the V&A’s internationally renowned collection, which chronicles the history of photography from the 1840s to the present day. In 1852, the V&A became the first museum in the UK to collect photographs and in 1858, the first to hold a photography exhibition.

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