Gary Fabian Miller & Edmund de Wall (2 stars)

Gary Fabian Miller

Photography, ceramics and installation

Repetition, when performed by the human hand, will always be peppered with tiny differences. This is evidence of man’s failing against the machine, yet there is, of course, unexpected pleasure to be found in human error. It is a subject of fascination for many artists, including the creative minds behind this exhibition: the photographer Gary Fabian Miller and the ceramicist and writer Edmund de Waal.

This is the seventh of 26 exhibitions at the Ingleby Gallery exploring the notion of artistic pairings. An interest in difference and repetition is not the only uniting factor here: both artists play with nature, light and form. Miller’s camera-less photographs use early experiments with photography from the 1830s and 1840s, exposing natural found objects and light onto paper, while Waal creates pottery from porcelain and clay. His work often takes the form of installation, bringing together groups of ‘imperfect’ small vessels in large organic clusters. Waal’s project for this exhibition will be ‘North, North West’, four lacquered cabinets containing a range of tiny lacquered vessels which flicker and tease the light in remembrance of Miller’s photographs. The two have collaborated on the book Year One, which celebrates de Waal’s photographic project of the same title, in which a photograph was taken for every day of the year.

Waal has written an accompanying essay which describes Miller’s processes with admiration and respect. As he says: ‘Each new image relates to the previous day’s work, each image generating a change, sometimes gentle, sometimes radical.’ Reading the text reveals Waal’s great respect for, and debt to Miller’s photography and the sensitive pairing here seems much deeper rooted than mere curatorial juxtaposition. (Rosie Lesso)

The Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh. Run ended.

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