Why water?  

A mirror for the seasons;  balm for the soul;  an antidote to the times.
Green Force: clear water flowing over a mossy weir in Dovedale curls up and back upon itself creating a wave crest of white

My dialogue with the River Dove started in 2012 and continues today.  Photographing water changed the way that I view my camera - rather than being a box that records the landscape, it is a tool that lends itself to creative interpretations - only our imagination and our tendency to adhere to precedent limit us.  I’ve moved away from what many people expect photographs to be.  Rather than being a straight record, my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice.  The river has been my conduit:  it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.

Portrait of Michela Griffith. Slow shutter and subject movement create intentional blur

Freed from the land that bounds it, water has a life of its own, an ever changing interaction with light, land and season. There is an obvious beauty to be found but we tend to underestimate how this changes with time and how important movement is to our experience of the landscape.  The images that you see are created in camera and not at a computer: longer exposures and subject movement result in works that have frequently been mistaken for paintings. I print all but the largest images myself onto fine art paper which emphasises their painterly quality.

Michela Griffith’s abstract images celebrate the beauty and diversity of water in motion, and its ever changing interaction with light, land and season.  This ‘Liquid Light’ has also inspired her to experiment with movement in and through the landscape.  By working locally and through experimentation she has developed a clear vision and a distinctive style.


Michela has a rarified photographic vision, her understated themes result in images of great stillness and beauty. She turns the everyday into the universal in photographs that are positioned in a place between the representational and the abstract.

Jo Rose, Curator, The Joe Cornish Galleries

Drifting snow has buried the stream. When clouds part the sun throws down blue shadow from the trees. From ‘Liquid Light’
The landscape has always been central to Michela’s life. Working as a Chartered Landscape Architect for 24 years, Michela maintained the interest in photography that began in her teens and this increasingly became a creative outlet for her after moving to the Peak District National Park in 2007. Her photographic practice changed dramatically in 2012 when her local river, the Dove, became her muse, and writing about this led to her involvement with On Landscape magazine.
Since 2014 Michela’s individual interpretations of water have led to a number of solo exhibitions:  ‘Moments of Confluence’, The Joe Cornish Galleries, Northallerton (2015); ‘Liquid Light’, Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Buxton (2015) and The Peak Photographic Gallery, Bakewell (2016); ‘Within Elements’, Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek (2016); and ‘Of Wood and Water’, also at The Joe Cornish Galleries (2018).  Her work has been exhibited widely, including as part of Lichfield Festival Visual Arts Exhibition; The Chatsworth Festival Art Out Loud; Derbyshire Open Arts; Buxton Art Trail; and in group shows at Brighton Photo Fringe in 2017 and 2018 (‘Over the Hill’, ‘Over Hills and Seas’).
Michela is represented by the Longitude Gallery, Clitheroe, Lancashire, and Cromford Studio and Gallery, Derbyshire.  Limited Edition photographic prints and open edition prints / cards are available from the above galleries and directly from Michela.
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.
Carl Gustav Jung