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Reed with Eight Cuts

  • Object:

    Cameraless photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Lincolnshire (Lowfield Farm, Lincolnshire, made)

  • Date:

    1985 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fabian Miller, Garry, born 1957 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plant, light, dye destruction

  • Credit Line:

    Copyright Garry Fabian Miller

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room WS, case R, shelf 77, box R

Fabian Miller established his reputation from 1976 with an internationally acclaimed series of photographs depicting sea and sky made from his home in Bristol. In 1985, he stopped using a camera and has since then explored the elements of light, time and colour in camera-less images produced in his darkroom. His pictures draw from the early darkroom experiments of pioneers such as William Henry Fox Talbot and Anna Atkins, but also connect with a Modernist tradition of formal abstraction. His work has often been placed among the context of other international artists such as Donald Judd, Elsworth Kelly and James Turrell, but also within an English tradition tracing back to J.M.W. Turner, and post-war abstract painters such as Patrick Heron and Ben Nicholson.

In Fabian Miller’s camera-less pictures the subjects cast their own image. He creates them by putting objects directly onto a photographic enlarger, then shining light through them. Through his technique he bypasses camera and lens, thus enabling a more direct interaction between light, his depicted subjects, and the process of capturing them on photographic paper. In this 'positive to positive' process he faithfully portrays the colour and shape of the projected object. 'Reed with Eight Cuts' is an example of Fabian Miller’s practice of gathering and exploring the development of plant material over time. The colour and form of each reed collected in summer, autumn and winter owe to the changing seasons and the breakdown of chlorophyll in the leaves that is caused by changes in the length of daylight and in temperature.

Physical description

A framed colour photograph of a red and yellow-coloured reed in a white frame.

Place of Origin

Lincolnshire (Lowfield Farm, Lincolnshire, made)


1985 (made)


Fabian Miller, Garry, born 1957 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Plant, light, dye destruction


Width: 33 cm Frame, Height: 198 cm Frame

Descriptive line

Garry Fabian Miller. 'Reed with Eight Cuts, Lowfield Farm, Winter, 1985'. Dye destruction prints in frame.; Miller, Gary

Production Note

no. 3 of 3


Photographic paper


Silver-dye bleach process

Subjects depicted

Light; Nature; Reed




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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