Fair Glasgow- An ongoing project with ts beall and Glasgow Museums, April 2013-present
Fair Glasgow is a project developed in close partnership with the artist ts beall, a complex, multi-layered collaboration between Glasgow’s Travelling Showpeople community and Glasgow Museums. We visited places relevant to fairground history, investigated current collections on Glasgow’s fairs and reinterpreted objects. This culminated in a major (and annually recurring) live exhibit at the Riverside Museum, the design of a new permanent display at the museum (for which the Showman’s Yard Dialectogram was acquired) and the new Kelvinhall complex. Our network of showpeople, museum staff and artists continue to meet, work on issues such as Intangible Cultural Heritage and collect oral and physical artefacts. I also designed a bespoke display and information stall for the museums that was built by community members, led tours and whatever useful things might lurk in my head. Find out more here.
Redraw Clydebank Library: The Clydebank Library Refurbishment Project – West Dunbartonshire Library Service, June 2015-April 2016
In early 2015 I was invited to work with West Dunbartonshire Libraries on their redesign of Clydebank Central Library. This beautiful, 102 year old building has undergone many internal refits that have not always made the most of its potential. Over ten months, I documented life at the library, engaged with over 1000 residents and put together their thoughts and feelings into a double A0 dialectogram drawing. The research we produced will assist in the process of writing a detailed design brief for the architects who will substantially remake the interior, to ensure their design takes into accounts its strengths, quirks and above all, the needs of Clydebank’s people. This was a hugely demanding, but rewarding project that put me in the thick of a major redesign process, and tested the dialectogram not just as a document, but an active production that seeks to uncover new ideas and solutions.
Social Materials: Encountering the Dialectogram – Glasgow School of Art, 5-8 September 2015
For my Viva examination I wanted to give the public and my examiners a chance to see originals up close, get a sense of their texture, note the relict pencil marks. Above all, I wanted them to see the space occupy, which in many respects underscores the paradox of the dialectogram – too big for your pocket and too detailed for an idle brows, it is in both its social and material aspect, an awkward thing. And after six years of making them, I would not have it any other way. My text and catalogue for the exhibition can be downloaded here.
Nothing is Lost – a Residency for the Commonwealth Games 2013-2015
A two-year residency with frequent collaborators Alison Irvine (Author) and Chris Leslie (Photographer and filmmaker) Nothing is Lost was commissioned by Glasgow Life in 2013. Our work focused on the East End of Glasgow, its cultural institutions and the people who engage with them, as well as the physical changes taking place in the area and the impact on Glasgow’s residents. Our creative study takes the form of photographs, illustrations, films and stories collected in a three-book box-set, on sale here - To celebrate – and give a taste – here’s a free web-exclusive essay setting up one of its major themes… @east_end_legacy
Games’ End: Dialectograms for Collective’s All-Sided Games – 2013-2015
When the respective city fathers of Edinburgh and Glasgow selected their dilapidated east ends to host “The Games’”, they promised a great deal. A cavalcade of athletes, trainers, journalists, managers, Queens, presidents (some “for life”), fact-finding delegations and spectators would bring with them sport, culture international brother/sisterhood and above all, redevelopment . New facilities, infrastructural improvements, housing, investment…the Games’ backers promised to re-engineer what was now the Games’ End of town from its doldrums. So how did that work out? All Sided Games is a series of off-site commissions, placing contemporary artists in sporting venues built or used for the Edinburgh 1970 and 1986 Commonwealth Games and in venues to be used in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.In my tenure with Collective Gallery’s All Sided Games project, I worked in the fictional ‘hyper-district’ of Games’ End to document life in the shadow of global sporting events. ‘Games’ end’ is a notional district of two major Scottish cities that sits leeward of a major, multi-national, multi-million pound, sports event. Built for the 1972 Commonwealth Games (re-used for the 1986 event) Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Stadium sits among the predominantly working class communities of Jock’s Lodge, Piershill and Restalrig. Used in its time for athletic meets, football and as a leisure centre, the stadium’s history begs important questions about the legacy of the Games and its relationship with local communities. The western environs of Games’ End are the newest, and remain a story for the future. When Glasgow won the 2014 Games, the construction of a velodrome and athletes village come with promises of significant changes for the impoverished east end districts of Bridgeton, Calton and Dalmarnock. The story of this project can be found in a free publication, available in hard copy or in this e-edition @asg_collective
The Drouth Five-Oh, The Reid Gallery, Glasgow School of Art, January-February 2015
I curated (and in various ways, appeared) in this retrospective look at 50 issues of The Drouth through its cover art, over 1,500 visitors came to The Drouth Five-Oh at the Reid Gallery in the Glasgow School of Art. The exhibition included a single copy of each issue of the fifty Drouths which have been published, and also a selection of the original works of art from which the covers were made up. The works for display include paintings, drawings, photographs, and potentially one or two more 3D works. The lineup was impressive Graham Fagen, Alasdair Gray, Roddy Buchanan, Pat Donald, Ross Sinclair, Stuart Murray, Artemis Manouki, Niels Bugge, Chris Leslie, Andrew Lee, Chris Dooks, Dhivya Kate Chetty, Mariusz Tarkawian, Marc Baines, Toby Paterson, Bill Breckenridge, David Shrigley and Craig Richardson. The fiftieth cover is by Turner Prize nominated artist Ciara Phillips.
AOI Illustration Awards 2013 – Somerset House, London, 2-27 October 2013, other venues until September 2014
A group show that will tour the UK from October 2013. Selected and curated by the Association of Illustrators, this exhibition shows a selection of the entries to the AOI Illustration Awards 2013. The awards are a major fixture in illustration (‘The Oscars of Illustration’) attracting entrants from Europe, USA, South America, Africa, Australia and Asia as well as the UK itself. Having already placed as Category Winner for the New Talent Award in Research and Knowledge Communication, I attended the 8 October opening and was fortunate enough to share the overall New Talent award with Chinese graphic novelist Jun Cen.The Showman’s Yard begins its UK tour in the grand surroundings of Somerset House on the Strand, then travels throughout England and Wales (Swansea Metropolitan University, Blackpool and Fylde College, Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery, and Guildford House Gallery) until September 2014. ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
STATIONS OF THE GREEN – New Glasgow Society, 26 April-17 May 2013
Dave Allen, Stephen Davismoon, Pat Donald, Peter McCaughey, Michael Mersinis, Mitch Miller, Gordy Munro, Johnny Rodger, Ross Sinclair, New Glasgow Society, Glasgow. A poetic commemoration of a lost mural and more deeply, of lost histories, Station of the Green was co-curated with Johnny Rodger and featured collaborations with a number of artists who were involved before, during and after the fact. The fact in question was Douglas Gordon’s early work Proof (1990). A series of 6 dates and the work mute, painted in Times New Roman on the back of the old Glasgow Green rail station, this was a show about absences. In early 2012 a gust of wind brought down one of the walls of the station and, before conservation could even be thought of, network rail removed the ‘unsafe and dangerous’ structure and the only extant piece by Glasgow’s Turner prize winner – in the very year ‘the Glasgow Miracle’ was being widely celebrated. The ironies were too much to resist. We explored the topic in a number of ways – texts, photographs, contemporary music and spoken word, even a collection of three of the great sandstone blocks that had formed the sign for the station. My contribution was a ‘Glasgow Green Songline’, a dialectogram style sketch that showed where an imaginative and aware walker could intersect points where the historical events hinted at in Proof, had happened. //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
RED ROAD - PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE – The People’s Palace, February 2013-February 2014
Glasgow Museums, with artistic contributions by Iseult Timmermans, Alison Irvine, Mitch Miller Flora Alexander and others. The People’s Palace, Glasgow. Another culmination of the work of the Red Road Cultural Project, this year long exhibition explores the legacy of the Red Road flats through objects, oral histories and artworks made with and by residents of the famous Glasgow Housing Scheme. I have originals of two of the four Red Road Dialectograms on show here, including the first public exhibition of the Nivens from S(i)even. //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
DRAW DUKE STREET – Market Gallery, (30 October – 7-December) 8-17 December 2012
This was for the most part a residency which terminated in a week long exhibit of the resulting work – technically my first ever solo show. It was easily my most exhausting. To explain why, it’s probably easiest just to read this segment of the official description: With Draw Duke Street Miller’s attention turns to his local high street (he lives two minutes away from it, on Craigpark Drive), its history, and its current situation – poised between a double dip recession and the massive changes to the East End heralded by the 2014 Commonwealth Games. During his collaboration with Market he will contact all of the shops, pubs and public facilities between the Cooperative Funeral Parlour at the corner of Bellgrove and the Tattoo parlour across from Duke Street Train station and invite them to take part. Local people, interest groups and the local community council will also be invited to contribute ideas, memories and thoughts to the drawing, which will consist of a strip of A0 panels fitted together as they are completed. When the 7th of December comes, no matter what level of completion the drawing is at, all work will stop and the gallery will open as a week-long exhibition, running from the 7th-17th December. Mitch will again, be on hand to answer questions and talk to visitors about the drawing. I had six weeks, a team of volunteers and a shopfront open studio to work with. My goal was to create my largest single dialectogram of Duke Street. Working all hours, virtually seven days a week, in a state of questionable sanity, I somehow created an unfinished, but still very detailed dialectogram of Duke St between Bellgrove and Miller Street, 10 metres long by 2 metres high. If you want to read me whinge about it, check out my online diary (link) //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Level – Talbot Rice Gallery, 12-18 May 2012
Patrik Aarnivara, Bill Balaskas, Pavel Buchler, Amy Hutton, Robert Luzar, Marcus Sandeman, Mitch Miller and Kate Terry. Two dialectograms were selected to appear as part of a group show Talbot Rice Gallery curated by Masters graduates of the Contemporary Art Theory and visual culture at Edinburgh College of Art. The show explored the idea of eye level – as the curators put it; “This exhibition animated the conflict between encounters on an individual level, the possibility of a shared vision, and the impossibility of a universal, absolute way of seeing.” //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Red Road Underground – New Glasgow Society, 1 February-2 March 2012
Chris Leslie and Mitch Miller, New Glasgow Society, Glasgow. The first of my many fruitful collaborations with documentary photographer and filmmaker Chris Leslie, Red Road Underground was based on our work on the Red Road Flats Cultural Project, with a particular focus on the hidden underground leisure complexes beneath the high rises. After Spelunking into the derelict bingo and abandoned bar, and tracking down past punters, we each created new works to document the experience. The resulting exhibition showed some of the best of our earlier work in the flats with the new material, and offered a retrospective of more than 3 years of engagement with communities in north Glasgow. Photos, film, dialectograms and found objects (such as seats from the bingo and some very stylish bar-room tables) were added to the space and we filled it with public talks, music and at times (given the place was Glasgow and the subject high-rise) heated arguments. This was where I first showed the dialectograms of the Mecca Bingo and The Brig. ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
One Night Stand – The Telfer Gallery, 14-25 November 2011
Mag Chua, Sarah Laing, Stuart MacAdam, Mitch Miller, Minka Stoyanova, Dane Sutherland, The Telfer Gallery, Glasgow An intensive short life residency that brought a curator and five artists together over a series of evenings, their task being to plan and create an art event for the last night of the project. The residency explored uses of space, curatorial approaches and challenging the existing models of exhibition. My contribution was a Perspex two stage dialectogram that documented the place and process of the residency and, through inviting visitors to make their own marks, the night itself. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Telling Stories – Market Gallery, 11 February – 6 March 2011
David Shrigley, Frank Quitely, Gary Erskine, Jamie Grant, Sorcha Edward, Stuart Murray, Anna Tanner, Mitch Miller, The Market Gallery, Glasgow. A group show juxtaposing the work of graphic artists working in the comics medium with fine artists who use storytelling and narrative. The exhibition aimed to celebrate this legacy whilst examining the relationship between illustration, film and fine art and encourage discussion about how these seemingly autonomous media share common themes and motivations. This was the first time The Concierge Station featured in a long-term public exhibition. ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
How’S the Ghost? – Market Gallery February 2009/2 March-10 April 2010
Chris Dooks and Mitch Miller, Market Gallery, Glasgow/An Tobar, Isle of Mull. The show that gave birth to the first dialectogram…or at least, something very like it. Taking my abortive documentary The Ghost Show, Dooks and I each explored fairground culture from different starting points. I approached as an insider to the culture wanting to explain it in my own terms, using drawing, graphic novel and traditional signwriting. Dooks came at it as the curious (and polymathic) outsider, exploring the subject through photography, film and sound. The show was commissioned at Market Gallery, where it enjoyed a successful run, then toured the next year to An Tobar in Mull. For the purposes of the show I created, purely by accident, a huge A0 sized drawing called Backcauseway. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was to be just the first of a series of insanely detailed, awkwardly sized images that drew the undrawn-able. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////