Perth-based photographer Graham Miller‘s lastest body of work, ‘Autism: Hearts of Angels’, will be exhibited at The Birnam Institute, Dunkeld, in March.
The exhibition runs from Wednesday 2nd of March to Thursday March 31st with the official opening reception March 6th from 2pm to 4pm, at The Birnam Institute, Station Road, Birnam, Dunkeld, PH8 0DS.
In June 2015, Scottish Documentary Photographer, Graham Miller, travelled to Greece to view the impact of the financial crisis on those least able to care for themselves. Spending several days living in a house with twelve adults affected by severe autism he found a remarkable community where, despite having not being paid for two periods of six and two months respectively during the prior two years, the educators continued to give the highest standards of care.
Access to the home in Zitsa was provided by GSPAP, The Greek Society for Protection of Autistic people who established one of very few full time residencies for adults affected by severe autism in Greece in 2001. Referred to as ‘children’, yet aged between 26 and 42 years, many of the residents cannot speak and are affected by other conditions. One child is also deaf and blind.
The title of the resulting exhibition ‘Autism: Hearts of Angels.’ is taken from a quote from a parent Sophia Bonanou who was instrumental in the getting the work done.
The images shown here are selected from the 14 that will be shown as light boxes, with extended captions, at an exhibition in Perthshire during the month of March. Each light box has a remote control allowing the light levels to be adjusted. ‘I want people to feel they can interact with the work and am using light in a symbolic way to show that we can all have an impact on others lives good and bad’.
Jenny Paterson, director of The National Autistic Society Scotland, said: ‘I was very moved by Graham’s wonderful exhibition of autistic adults living in Greece. The presentation of his beautiful photographs on lightboxes is unique and attention-grabbing. I would urge people to visit The Birnam Institute and view his work whilst they can.’
NAS Scotland will also be promoting the event as part of raising autism awareness while providing an information display for the duration of the exhibition.
Graham Miller is a Perthshire based documentary photographer. He graduated with distinction from LCC University of the Arts in 2013 with an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.
His work is focused on challenging stigma, particularly in relation to disability, and, where possible, he interviews and records sitters whilst photographing them. ‘It enables me to bring my subjects closer to life experiences which I then aim to capture with my camera’.
Graham’s work, under the title Photohonesty, has featured in the international press such as Stern.de and has been shown in a number of solo exhibitions including a month long event at Edinburgh’s prestigious Summerhall Gallery and two ‘stays’ at the Birnam Arts Centre in beautiful Perthshire .
He has been a regular contributor and panelist to the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.
In 2013 he also self published a book ‘6%: Down’s Syndrome My Photographs Their Stories’ in collaboration with Down’s Syndrome Scotland, which has sold over 500 copies.
In 2015 he was invited to become an ambassador to the Athens based M55 collective.
Graham is currently working on his next two projects which he describes as ‘accessible conceptual’. “I want people to need to engage with my work and then ‘get’ what I’m trying to say’.
When The Ties That Bind exhibition at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery was in the planning stages, it was agreed between each of us at Document Scotland and the galleries that we would write a blog post to accompany our work – each of us approached this task differently, with a different emphasis and subject matter – but each of the posts reflect our thinking and extended research around our subject matter. Here’s Stephen’s post – this is just a screen grab but you can read the full text by clicking on the image below… we hope you enjoy reading it!