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Tree branches cast black shadow lines across a water deep blue from a clear sky

Why water?  

A mirror for the seasons;  balm for the soul;  an antidote to the times.

Tree shadows pattern undulating sunlit snow
Waterfall-like trails of reflected sunlight reveal the complex movement of the water

My dialogue with water started in 2012 and continues today.  Photographing my local river 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.  These often abstract images reflect 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.  Now based in NE Scotland, I’m finding new inspiration in small ephemeral pools that come and go with the seasons, and experimenting with both pixel and paint.

Quotation marks
Portrait of photographer and artist Michela Griffith

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.

Quotation marks

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.

Green alder trees reflected in blue water create a barcode like pattern

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.

In late 2021 Michela moved to North East Scotland; a new chapter has begun but water remains her primary source of inspiration.  She has recently written about the transition in ‘Revisited’.

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.  Limited Edition photographic prints and open edition prints / cards are available from the gallery and directly from Michela through this website.

Tree branches cast black shadow lines across a water deep blue from a clear sky
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
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