Adam Barker-Mill: Photosynthesis

10 November 1996 – 26 January 1997

‘Lightworks in Midwinter, Sculpture 1986-1996’

Adam Barker-Mill creates sculptures 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, but having lived for a number of years on farmland near Southampton docks, Adam Barker-Mill has also created a remarkable garden and studio – where he has built a number of outdoor sculptures which harness and modulate natural light.

The sculpture consists of two elements; a structure and the 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 is deceptive however, belying a structure carefully designed to produce a particular effect of the light, an effect which changes according to the position of the viewer- who is unable 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 construction into thin lines of yellow merging into white, or complete spectra changing from red to violet.

Having exhibited from galleries and museums from Japan to London (where he exhibits at the Victoria Miro Gallery), this will be Adam Barker-Mill’s first exhibition in Scotland, and it is timed to take place during mid winter. The works (made during the last ten years and drawn from public and private collections) will be displayed throughout the seven rooms of Inverleith House as if in a domestic situation: in some rooms the shutters will be drawn, and there will be constant darkness save for the light emitted from works themselves – controlled by the viewer; in others, the shifting weak natural light will alter the brightness and colour of works – positioned to take advantage of this effect. Several other works utilising only natural light will be positioned outdoors, adjacent to Inverleith House.

Visitors will be actively encouraged to interact with the works on display through a variety of interpretive means (without compromising the artistic intent of the work itself).

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