Adam Barker-Mill - Photosynthesis - Sculpture and Drawings 1990 - 1996
25 November 1997 - 16 March 1998
Adam Barker-Mill creates sculpture using light, in situations which generate, manipulate and modulate light itself, engaging the viewer in ways which constantly alter the actual effect of the work. Born of Scottish ancestry, Barker-Mill has shown internationally and most frequently with the Victoria Miro Gallery in London. This showing at Inverleith House was by far his largest and most varied exhibition to date.
The sculpture consisted of two elements; a structure and emergent light itself. The structures always appear simple; thin, elegant rectangular columns, bold squares and floating circles - primary forms without decoration, constructed in MDF ( fibreboard), Perspex, steel, or brick. Their appearance deceptive, belying a structure carefully designed to produce a particular effect of light, an effect which changes according to the position of the viewer, the time of day, prevailing weather conditions, and in certain works the actual decisions of the viewer - able to alter the intensity and colour of the light produced. The structures themselves, beautiful and precise, are therefore merely vehicles for light itself and its concentration into thin lines of yellow merging into white, or complete spectra changing from red to violet.
This exhibition included for the first time, a ‘Dark Space' - a room (measuring 7m x 4m x 3m) which visitors entered to gradually perceive three interactive light works. This work was accompanied by a sound piece. Barker-Mill's work was displayed in a domestic situation: in some rooms the shutters were drawn, and there was constant darkness save for the light emitted from works themselves - controlled by the viewer; in others, the shifting weak natural light altered the brightness and colour of works - positioned to take advantage of this effect. Visitors were actively encouraged to interact with the works on display through a variety of interpretive structural means (without compromising the artistic talent of the work itself).
The exhibition was organised in association with the artist and the Victoria Miro Gallery London.