Conflicts between the industrial, domestic & natural worlds, a time of dark humour in the anthropocene era //
Bio > Rob Miller is a sculptor with interests that include the illusive status of objects & things, the condition of repetition, temporal anxiety, and the Anthropocene dilemma. He gained a Sculpture Degree from the Wimbledon School of Art in 1993, followed by an MA in Graphic Media [UAL] in 2007, and works primarily using sand-cast lead. He is currently [attempting] the rewilding of his critical perceptions having extracted himself from a teaching career //
Practice > My current work involves pattern-making, sand-casting and the appropriation of the status of lead with its alchemical & arcane associations. The frustrations of using an iterative process that fails more often than it succeeds further draws down on this alchemical association. The speed at which new lead tarnishes to a dull, ubiquitous and light-consuming grey is perhaps a suitable metaphor for the [ultimate] fallacy of our endeavours. Leads weight and neurological toxicity conflicts with its supreme malleability and stoic resistance to environmental decay – beautifully antithetical conditions.
Origination > The work originates from an interest in repetition, the reiteration of the same and its relationship to our temporality. We habitually repeat, and are involved in many forms of ritual that suggest a motivation intrinsically bound to repetition, and yet there is something about the nature of repetition to unmake the very identity it seeks to confirm. If repetition is played out too long it becomes a narrative within itself, operating somewhere between boredom and engagement. William Gibson states in the novel Pattern Recognition that “Homo sapiens are mostly about pattern recognition, both a gift and a trap” a duality that continues to drive my practice concerns.
Text > The grey-everyday seduces through conformity and standardisation. Our malleability through habit, ritual and tradition confirms that we are simply pattern processing machines, born out of pattern and destined to live out our lives as pattern. Familiarity gives meaning to life, cushioning our inherent time-dependency allowing us to deal with the urgency of life. We expect repeatability and consume consistency – pattern is control and safety; it is titanic, ubiquitous and blind. Pattern gives continuity without consideration – it simply is.
As an educationalist > I see the pedagogic role as accepting responsibility for creating and adapting student-focussed learning environments. A practice in its formative stage of development is potentially vulnerable, being critically fluid and prone to fantastic uncertainties. This requires the teaching to be equally adaptive and resonant to multiple needs and demands. Students should be challenged and supported through the process of defining their own research activities and by discovering suitable equivalences within a culture of research-informed teaching.
MA Fine Art (Graphic Media) University of the Arts, London (Wimbledon) 2007, Research Paper: Time the Comedy Villain & Convergent Temporalities [the time-condition of the digital video-loop].
BA (Hons) Fine Art (Sculpture) Wimbledon School of Art, 1993, Dissertation: Studies in Colour Perception [colour in sculpture, colour as sculpture].
PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education and Training, Greenwich University, 2004
2018 – Looping in the grey [of one-sided conversations] a new text in FELT – AESTHETICS OF GREY, published by ZENOPRESS ANTHOLOGY, ISSUE II (with book launch & readings).
2018 – Air cooled life-forms selected for FACING UP TO THE FUTURE by Paul Hawkins, guest editor at Burning House Press (online).
Selected exhibitions & events:
2019 – Rathbone Studio, The Waste of the World, a socially engaged project, Birkenhead
2019 – Art + Future Resilience – Talk on Art in the age of the Anthropocene, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, Northamptonshire
2017 – Black Swan Open, Frome, Somerset
2016 – The Somme, Part II, Acid Drop Copse Collective, ArtMoorHouse, London [Guardian 5 of the best highlight]
2016 – The Somme, Part I, Acid Drop Copse Collective, Honeywood Museum Charshalton
2015 – Co_Laboratory, London
2015 – Beers Lambert, shortlisted for Contemporary Visions VI
2015 – Velocity:11, Crypt Gallery, St Pancras Church, London
2013 – The Itinerants, The Old Police Station, New Cross, London
2013 – London Calling, Shoreditch, Factory-Art, Berlin [Catalogue published]
2013 – Open West, Newark Park and Cheltenham Art Gallery + Museum [Catalogue published]
2013 – The London Group Centenary, [Catalogue published]
2013 – Aesthetica Art Prize (long listed), Aesthetica Magazine, York [Anthology Catalogue published]
2012 – Time Will Come, part of Project Berlin, Factory-Art, Berlin [Catalogue published]
2012 – Solo Award, WW Gallery, London [Catalogue published]
2011 – Mostyn Open, Mostyn Oriel Gallery
2011 – Afternoon Tea, WW Gallery, part of the UK at the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice [Catalogue published]
2010 – Art Star Supermarket, London Art Fair, WW Gallery
2010 – In Time, Blue Print, UAL, High Holborn, London
2009 – Time, WW Gallery, London
2009 – The London Group Open, Part 2, Menier Gallery, London
2008 – Raw & Un-Curated, Polish Deconstruction, Shoreditch Town Hall, London
2008 – Hungry Eyes, video screening, Gallery 38, Oxford
2007 – Sub, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London
2006 – Currents, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London
2004 – The Visitors, Andre Demedts Gallery, Belgium
2003 – Kingston Open, Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston [winner]
2000 – Variations, Penny School Gallery, London
1999 – Works in Progress, Penny School Gallery, London
1999 – À la rentrée, Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston
1995 – 7th China International Photographic Expo, Beijing, China
1995 – Handshake, St Margaret’s, Norwich
1995 – Open Studio, Oaks Park, Sutton
1994 – Open Studio, Warrior Studio, Brixton
1993 – COOLTAN Arts, Summer Expo, Brixton, (co-curator )
1993 – Gallery Dagmar Expo, London
1992 – The Leicestershire Collection
1991 – Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon
1989 – Sculpture & Forestry Open Day, Croydon
Recent employment & professional experience:
Programme Leader BA (Hons) Art & Design, FdA in Art & Design, Kingston College (validated by Kingston University) 2009 – 2016.
Lecturer, Art & Design, Kingston College (Sept 06 / Sept 09)
0.5 Lecturer (0.5 Technical Instructor) Kingston College, (Sept 05 / Aug 06)
Sessional Lecturer, Art and Design, Kingston College, (Sept 04 / Aug 05)
2016 – Awarded the status of Senior Fellow, HEA
2016 – Appointed External Examiner, Ba (Hons) Designer-Maker, Hasting Coast College, Brighton University.
2015 – Higher Education Academic Board (Kingston College)
2014 – QAA Higher Education Review (panel member)
2013 – Re-approval of the Ba (Hons) Art & Design provision, Kingston University
2012 – Validation (commendations) of the BA (Hons)Art & Design top-up provision, Kingston University
2011 – Re-approval of the FdA in Art & Design provision, Kingston University
2011 – Appointed as External Examiner, FDA Contemporary Creative Practice, Cornwall College (2011 / 2014)
2011 – External Academic on FDA Contemporary, Cornwall College Creative Practice validation panel.
2011 – Subject specialist teaching mentor, (for PGCE candidates) Kingston College
Web site – content & image resolutions optimised for mobile browsing/devises.
Images used throughout this site are intended to be interpretive, suggestive and indicative of the actual works. They sit along side, and are not intended to be neutral documentations of practice.
On Lead – this elemental material will continue to change & tarnish over time due to atmospheric conditions, the type of alloy used (impurities) and the handling of work. Leads weight & malleability may lead to a softening of edges, and a marking of surfaces – becoming documents of the work’s passage through time. Electronics will fail, lights will dim, components will become obsolete, but the material nature of lead will remain consistent – the work reducible to its base material.
rob miller | portfolio [2017 – 2019] available here