Garry Fabian Miller on cibachrome

12.05.21. Internet

What does an artist do when the material he has devoted his working life to runs out?

Garry Fabian Miller is a renowned photographer, who doesn’t use a camera in his practice. Instead, he works in his darkroom and relies on a combination of light and cibachrome paper, using exposures that can last between one to twenty hours.  

His extraordinary, abstract pieces are inspired by nature and the things he sees on walks around his home in Dartmoor.

His work is held in an array of public and private collections, including MoMA in New York, the Sir Elton John Collection and the V&A in London. Meanwhile his latest book – and there have been many – is entitled Blaze and features a forward from an old friend of the show, Edmund de Waal.

Trouble is that, thanks to the rise of digital photography, production of cibachrome halted in 2012 and supplies have dwindled to nothing. This is the story of how he has coped.  

In this episode we talk about: the vital role light and cibachrome paper have played in his life; the importance of Dartmoor to his process; deciding to discard the camera; growing up as a child in a darkroom; photography as a medium of magic; feeling like an ‘edge player’; his love of the etcher Robin Tanner and punk rocker Poly Styrene; and, of course, dealing with the dying days of his craft.

(Portrait: Sam Fabian Miller)

Find out more about Garry Fabian Miller

Fabian Miller has long been inspired by nature in his work. This is Dancing Sun (i), a Lambda c-type print from dye destruction print, using a plant and light.

Darkroom, The Yellow We Made is a Lambda c-type print from dye destruction print, using light, oil and water. 

The Darkroom’s Fading Presence is a Lambda c-type print from dye destruction print, using light and oil. (All images courtesy of the artist)