PHOTOGRAPHY GARRY FABIAN MILLER: EXPOSURE lngleby Gallery, Edinburgh, Until 5 Nov 000
The most important thing. as the introduction points out. to remember about this exhibition of photography is that it's not photography at all. Although the Dartmoor—based Garry Fabian Miller uses the equipment and principles of the medium. the reproduction of anything tanginy resembling reality is missing.
Applying photosensitive chemicals to paper. he passes controlled and patterned measures of light through them. often retracting this beam through a foreign substance such as water or a leaf. The final result is othen/vorldly. but strangely akin to patterns we might recognise from nature.
The first image displayed in the exhibition. for example: ‘From the Red Pool. December 1st 2004'. resembles a glowing red horizon. any distinctive features washed out by the small strip of darkening where the light has bled between crimson and darkness. The bold co|Ours of such a vision are striking.
Elsewhere. the other pieces are named simply and categorically after their exposure times and the date they were created. such a clinical designation adding to the impression that they represent some form of star chart or complex graph display. Again. of course. they're just dappled series of light spread on paper. in a precise and circular orbit around a darkened or reddened centre. But they form both an attractive starting point for the viewer to ponder and a reminder of the patience and effort clearly required to create such one-()f-a-kind pieces. (David Pollock)
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until Sun 13 Nov
As far as birthday celebrations go, painter John Houston isn’t doing too badly this year. To mark his 75th birthday the Gallery of Modern Art is bringing together some of his most important paintings for a major retrospective.
Although he’s a distinguished artist in his home country, Houston’s talent is unfortunately still pigeonholed as ‘Scottish painting’, and despite numerous London shows he has enjoyed less of a reputation south of the border. It is hoped this key exhibition of over 40 works will change that, and it coincides with the Scottish gallery’s own exhibition of his abstracted oil paintings. He has been regularly showing there since the late 19505.
With his explorations of the unpredictability of nature - its chaos and beauty - there has always been something of the Romantic in Houston. He paints the sunlit ‘Path to the Fields, Autumn’ (1990) with the same turbulent passion as the thunderous clouds that lash the horizon in ‘Bay after Storm’ (1990). Endowing the volatility of Scottish weather with strangely dramatic geometry, this artist greets both the beautiful and the sublime with a characteristically bold expressionist style.
Travelling widely, both as a scholarship student in Italy and visiting Japan and the New York socialite scene with his wife Elizabeth Blackadder, his work remains a kaleidoscope of deep colours and muscular brushstrokes. His more recent watercolours and oils appear to crack and groan under the tension of jarring angles and colliding curves. But this forthcoming retrospective will undoubtedly offer more than just a simple overview of his latest work.
With a career that spans more than ﬁve decades, this exhibition is an apt and deserved celebration.
Alberta Whittle, Spiritual Baptism
NEIL CLEMENTS AND ALBERTA WHITTLE - NEW WORK SCOTLAND Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, 15 Oct—19 Nov
A showcase taking inspiration from both literature and music: Scandinavian heavy metal and Jean Rhys' prequel to Jane Eyre. This is the backdrop artists Neil Clements and Alberta Whittle are taking for the latest exhibition of the New Work Scotland Programme. And the Collective Gallery's NWSP initiative »- to track down young and emerging artists like this pair — shows no sign of edging away from its policy of inclusivity.
Since the very first exhibition in 2000 the NWSP has seen 27 selected artists. all recent Scottish graduates. build up the reputation of the arts programme into a lucky dip of promising though not-yet established artists. Clements will be transforming his space with a series of paintings and a soundtrack to a walk he took around Norway. while Whittle plans to project a film in hers. featuring her own performance art and footage she shot while in Barbados. But the initiative doesn't stop there. New Writing Scotland Project. which started last year. has also brought in two budding critics. Gillian Sherwood and Iain Connell. to write accompanying texts for Clements and Whittle's exhibitions.
Whether it is seen as a dubious production line of obscure artists and promotion writers or a democratic public platform for aspiring talent. the very fact that this is the 14th programme demonstrates that the NWSP has established its own success. (lsla Leaver-Yap)
(3 ()0 Oct 700:") THE LIST 87