Noel Myles talks to Jackie about his portfolio of work that influenced his recent body of work that is currently on display at Mill Tye Gallery until Sunday 18th August.
“About 20 years ago, I was working with Platinum and Palladium print making processes. I was abutting medium format negatives to make an image of a very tempestuous sky and the turmoil of water coming over the Weir. It was a very stormy image which had a horizon, where the water and sky met. I found this disturbing somehow, the frontality of the water at the bottom of the picture and the sky at the top was interfered with by the depth going back to the horizon. I decided to dismantle it, took the horizon out, abutted the water and the clouds and this made a much stronger image, which seemed to rise up to the picture plane and gave the image a sense of physicality, as if the image was laying on the surface of the paper. I denied the recession that you get when you look towards the horizon.”
Also about 20 years ago, I wanted find a contemporary approach to making images of the landscape moving away from the 19th Century approach. In 2012 - 2013 I amended the work to create a series. I did the obvious really, which was to photograph the land and not the horizon and not the sky. I walked across fields in different parts of England. I was trying to make a contemporary English Landscape and I was looking for different types of soil colours. For example; in Hertfordshire there was a very red soil. In some parts of East Anglia the soil was very yellow. There were frosty mornings where I walked across the fields not too far from where I lived and and observed blue colours. I used the oxides in the soil to create a different colour pallet. Then I started to abut these images horizontally or vertically and at the back of my my mind I thought of Mark Rothko’s paintings. I was creating these on a table at home out of hundreds of 35mm colour prints which I abutted and glued together, then put them vertically on the wall. I ended up with something that was still representational, but also quite abstract with no horizon in it. It was quite a deliberate thought to separate the sky from the ground and eliminate the horizon.
So this is subconsciously the background to the exhibitions that I have had at Mill the Gallery.
My first exhibition ‘Cloud’ depicted clouds and my current exhibition is a development of this exhibition called ‘The Sea and the Sky Never Meet’.
It seemed obvious to me to photograph the sea separately to the sky. My current exhibition involved taking hundreds of photographs of different sky’s and hundreds of photographs of different seas. I then tried to find ways of pulling them together, keeping them separate, leaving a band of white paper, separating the sky component and the beach component. It was very important that the sky and the seas were not taken at the same time, even though they may look closely related. From the very outset, my aim was to liberate the still photographic image from the single moment and the static view point. I have always wanted to bring together individual frames over an extended period of time and make them into one still photograph. In this exhibition, there are just two elements in each image. I hope that I have created a tension between the skies and the seas that is evident in the nine images on the wall. As in previous work, I feel that removing the horizon gives a frontally to the the work.”
‘The Sea and the Sky Never Meet’ is open to view at weekends until Sunday 18th August.
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For further information and to see previous works of art by Noel Myles go to: www.noelmyles.co.uk