Brighton Museum & Art Gallery - 01 May to 21 October 2012
David Miles has created new works inspired by items of local and international importance in the Prints and Drawings collection at Brighton Museum. This display shows many works that have not previously been displayed, including a print by Dürer, some Japanese woodcuts and a rarely seen drawing by Edward Burra. David Miles’s own work has been produced in response to these artworks, personally chosen for their evocation of tales of Brighton myths and mystery.
Miles has constructed his project thematically, centered on an actual hole marring the surface of the 19th-century Japanese artist Hiroshige's print Mount Hakone, held in the Fine Art collection. The hole on the damaged print appears rather fortuitously at the centre of the mountain, and Miles has used this physical ‘hole’ or ‘crater’ as a starting point for his imaginative project. From here, he leads us into an underworld of grottos, beasts and mysterious shapes. Figures shift, metamorphose and disappear, only to reappear mysteriously in a different context.
Short pieces of fiction from Brighton-based writer Mick Jackson are displayed alongside the original prints and Miles’s own work, adding another layer of connections. These writings also form part of a limited-edition artist’s book by David Miles that accompanies the exhibition and functions as a piece of work in its own right, using the museum’s prints alongside the new images.
The exhibition demonstrates the innovative ways in which museum collections inspire and engage artists working today.
David Miles (born 1970) lives and works in Brighton. He has exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, England and Holland. His most recent shows include the group exhibitions 'Helter Skelter' at UCLH Arts (2011) and 'We Are The Fragments' at Tabernacle (2012) in London. Miles has received several awards such the Pollock-Krasner award and British Council Grants to Artists award. This project was supported by Arts Council England.
Miles’s work involves storytelling, the interweaving of communal and autobiographical narratives, and the sense of loss and fear. This new work comes from the connections made between the selected prints and Miles’ own personal imagery. It deals with, among other things, the subterranean, portals through space, and lost & found animals and objects. It also touches upon local subjects of interest such as the infamous ‘Beast of Bevendean’ and the Warren Farm Well (the deepest hand-dug well in the world, situated on the outskirts of Brighton but little-known). Taking these subjects as a starting point, David Miles has produced drawings and watercolours, woodblock prints, hand-sewn patches and other objects.
Mick Jackson (born 1960) is a British writer, best known for his novel The Underground Man (1997). The book was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and for the 1997 Whitbread Award for best first novel. Jackson's other works include the novels Five Boys (2002) and The Widow's Tale (2010), and the short story collections Ten Sorry Tales (2006) and Bears of England (2009). Under the pseudonym Kirkham Jackson, he wrote the screenplay for the 2004 television film Roman Road. He has recently published three stories as an e-book, titled Junior Science. Jackson is currently working on his next novel, two screenplays, and is writer-in-residence at the Science Museum, London. He lives in Brighton.
David Miles: Artist talk - Saturday 12 May
Brighton Museum, Prints & Drawings Gallery - 2-3 pm Free
Artist David Miles introduces his project The Hole in Mount Hakone and explains how he developed new works and narratives using the Fine Art collection.
Published 10th April 2012
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