Galleries - March 2018

MARCH 2018 GALLERIES 41 highlighting the unexpected relation between his photographic practice and the craft of tapestry. Miller’s long and enduring fascination with the visual nature of light came from his earlier photographic exploration of the ever changing relationship between the sea and sky, and included in the show, are four of his vintage prints from ‘Sections of England – The Sea Horizons’ from 1976. To place Miller’s work in a wider historical context, on display are works by a pioneering Victorian photographer who developed his own photographic methods to capture stunning light effects – Gustave Le Gray. After Miller stopped using a camera in 1984 – choosing instead to concentrate more directly on light as both the source and subject of his work – Miller’s own photographic practice, developed though years of experimentation and manipulation in the darkroom, has resulted in his imagery becoming more and more abstract in its visual appearance. At the centre of this fascinating exhibition is the newly unveiled tapestry, ‘Voyage into the deepest, darkest blue’. This is not a direct copy, but instead a translation – through a complex process of wool blends – into a new image based on the combination of two of Miller’s photographs. Bill Hare British artists have been fascinated by the trappings and tricks of the theatre trade for centuries. William Hogarth (1697- 1764) shows fashionable audience members seated on the stage and incorporates recognisable portraits of actors in his theatre paintings and prints. Years later, Laura Knight (1877- 1970) shows her performers as hard workers, manipulating their appearances and surroundings to stage repeated shows. “As art is not simply nature, so theatre should not simply be life” wrote the playwright Jean Jullien (1854-1919), describing a play as a “synthetic version of life achieved through art”. In the 1960s, Leonard Rosoman (1913- 2012) joined the ranks of artists moved to combine the artifice of the theatre with that of paint after attending John Osborne’s play ‘A Patriot for Me’. In 1965 he returned again and again to the play, sketching the scenes by torchlight. The story was based on Alfred Redl, a homosexual officer in the late 19th century Austro-Hungarian intelligence service and Rosoman was captivated by the play’s “claustrophobic, sometimes savage atmosphere” as well as its exploration of homosexuality. The censor noticed the play too and it was denied a license on the grounds of sexually transgressive material. In 1968 Rosoman visited the material again to paint a series of deeply-saturated, stagey compositions; a year before homosexuality was (partially) decriminalised and that same year the Theatres Act abolished censorship of the stage. Rosoman’s paintings capture a moment in time when attitudes towards sexuality and censorship were changing. They are a frank, if expressionistic, look at how the on-stage performance mirrors Redl’s everyday enactment, concealing and construing conflicting elements of his sexuality. Rosoman’s paintings are now on show, for the first time in more than 30 years, at Pallant House Gallery in ‘Leonard Rosoman: Painting Theatre’. Frances Allitt The Dovecot Gallery Tapestry Studio has a long and renowned history of collaborating with distinguished artists – such as David Hockney, Frank Stella, Alan Davie and more recently Chris Ofili and Alison Watt. With superb skill and creative imagination the Dovecot’s team of weavers transform these artists’ paintings and prints into the medium of textile, creating new works of art in their own right. A new exhibition ‘Voyage’ grew out of an even more challenging project involving the translation of the translucent light and colour of Garry Fabian Miller’s inventive photography into the tactile textures of woven tapestry. Dovecot’s association with the artist goes back to 2015 when Miller co-curated an exhibition CODA from left: G arry Fabian Miller ‘Voyage into the deepest, darkest blue’ Dovecot Gallery Leonard Rosoman ‘Drag Ball 1’ Pallant House Gallery W oven image Staged art