Peter Miller | Beneath the Surface
An initial viewing of this exhibition may find the work a little disparate in subject matter but scratch beneath the surface and the viewer will find a thread running within the works linking them to a theme which is a foundation for the majority of Miller’s work – the human presence.
Miller’s paintings are usually connected in some way to the human condition and the mark we make or leave in passing, whether it be the mark (or sometimes even scar) we leave on people and/or the environment we inhabit. His paintings reflect on human potential, impact and the finiteness of the mortal frame.
Miller paints to express himself, his thoughts and seeks to remind the viewer of aspects of the nature of existence, to perhaps provoke a deeper level of thought or contemplation. His story is seldom presented, it is his preference to suggest a narrative rather than to force it. His intention or desire is to create an image that draws the viewers attention and from there to allow the viewer to just enjoy or appreciate but also to go deeper if they feel drawn to do so. But foremost is his desire to create something that is an object of beauty in itself.
Miller’s still life painting captures the beauty of humble manmade objects, in a sense to shine a spotlight upon them to raise and enhance their presence. Miller points to the fragility of these objects by describing the inevitable effects of breakage and wear caused by the passage of time, indirectly bringing the audience to an awareness of the fragility and temporary nature of human existence.
Miller’s bird paintings are relfections on nature and environment and the effect our presence has on its natural balance. Underlying all this work, and within it, are reflections on human existence – our potential, our transient nature, our way of being within our time in this body and the mark we leave in passing.
As art critic TJ Mcnamara noted of Miller’s paintings, they are more than just representation: “To copy things exactly as they appear is craft, but to make them metaphorical, symbolic and memorable is art.. These are not nostalgic illustrations but powerful evocations of time, and even more, of the passing of time”