Installation

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 1 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

The first of his landscapes, Sections of England: The Sea Horizon (1976–77); were views taken from the roof of his new home at Clevedon, near Bristol, looking west across the waters of the Severn Estuary. All the pictures in the series were taken from this fixed point, with the direction, lens, film and exposure remaining constant. All that changes is time and the artist’s implied relationship with place. Their format derives from the Hasselblad camera making square negatives or transparencies. The images are divided precisely in half along the horizon. The changing light and myriad weather conditions bring about the remarkable variety of atmospheres and colours, from dark blue to bright orange. Shifting conditions appear from calm to rough, through the dawn, day, twilight and night. At times a clear strip of land enforces the division between sea and sky, at other moments the whole scene seems to melt into one plane.

 

Fabian Miller submitted The Sea Horizon images for the Midland Open Exhibition in 1977. They were chosen by its guest selectors, the artist Ronald Brooks Kitaj and the eminent curator of photographs from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, John Szarkowski, and exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery, London. This first public exposure of Fabian Miller’s work, endorsed at a high level within the art world, was important for the nineteen-year-old artist. It confirmed his ambition to continue in art, away from social photography and following where his own

new directions took him.

 

These 40 images form a series made in 1976/7 but held in the artist's archive. This will be released for the first time

in a new edition in 2013.

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 2 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

As a young artist the conceptual framework of mid-1970s art practice, in particular work pre-occupied with the land which used photography as an analytical and recording medium, was a formative influence. Whilst the temperament of Long and Fulton was influential this was balanced by the approach of Jan Dibbets, Ger Dekkers and John Hilliard, the latter marked for their complex investigation of the medium and its relationship to time, perspective and exposure.

 

Sections of England was my first resolved body of work. The series adopted a system based approach. The pictures were all taken from a fixed viewpoint, using a set lens, film and exposure reading. The pictures were intended to record the passage of time as seen in seasonal weather patterns. The artist acted as a channel to observe and notate this constant activity. Where the pictures differ from the locked systems based approach of much work of the 1970s, is the acceptance of the emotional state of the artist within the process. This is evident in the chosen site and logic governing the making of each exposure.

 

The pictures were made from the roof of my home and reflect my continuing contact with the changing view. Coinciding as they did with the daily flux of personal feelings and shaped by the passage of time, I believe the pictures gained an intensity which would have been absent should I have chosen to travel to a set site to make an exposure at a pre-set time.

 

Whilst acknowledging my conceptual roots, I feel that my working methods and experience belong within an English modernist tradition where a sense of home and place is strong. This can be seen in the work of Ben Nicholson (the Penwith work) and that of David Jones, notably his paintings of gardens and views from seaside shelters and windows.

 

The first group of eight pictures were selected by John Szarkowski, MOMA N.Y. and R.B. Kitaj for the 1977 Midland Open and were shown at the Serpentine. A larger group of twelve formed part of my first one-person show at Arnolfini in 1979.

 

The finished series were made over a period of eighteen months.

 

The Arnolfini exhibition had a quotation from Ben Nicholson as the epigraph for the show: “Painting” and religious experience are the same thing. It is a question of the perpetual motion of the right idea”. A position I still believe and share.

 

Garry Fabian Miller. Dartmoor. October 1996.

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 3 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 4 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 5 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 6 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 7 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 8 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 9 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 10 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 11 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 12 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 13 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 14 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 15 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 16 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 17 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 18 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 19 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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Sections of England: The Sea Horizon No. 20 Series 2 1976

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Lambda C-print, printed 2013

38 x 38 cm / 15 x 15 "

 

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