Split Thorn, the Last Leaves, the Last Branch, the Cuts, the Scars, the Wounding. A Gathering In for the Healing.

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Fallen in the Great Storm, 15-16 October 1987, Green Park, London, 1987-88

Leaves, light, dye destruction print

153 x 153 cm / 60.5 x 60.5 "

 

Fabian Miller’s first visit to Quidenham Monastery coincided with the period of the great storm of 15–16 October 1987. On the evening after his visit he stayed in the area nearby while the worst storm to hit southern England in nearly three hundred years broke out. Eighteen people were killed and millions of trees were toppled, devastating Britain’s parks, forests and formal gardens. Fabian Miller picked his way home, driving through the aftermath. Later, he was commissioned to make a fitting memorial for the event. He salvaged leaves from trees downed in London’s parks, returned with them to his studio, and printed them singly, replete with their tears and bruises, to appear like forlorn but dignified witnesses. From a fallen hawthorn tree in Green Park, he gathered one hundred leaves, rendering them with forensic exactitude as they withered. Eighty-one of those photographs were organized into a grid, Split Thorn, the Last Leaves, the Last Branch, the Cuts, the Scars, the Wounding. A Gathering In for the Healing (1987–88). The poignant piece was exhibited on the anniversary of the storm at the Natural History Museum, London. Arranged with the brightest leaf at the centre of the matrix, the whole seems to radiate light, and hope for renewal, from its core.

 

Illumine - Garry Fabian Miller - A Retrospective, by Martin Barnes.

Merrell London/New York 2005.

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