About Michela Griffith
My art practice is influenced by the qualities of water and by nature’s own mark making. From the colour and movement of the River Dove in the Peak District and its shifting transcriptions of sunlight to the soft mirror of North East Scotland’s ephemeral pools, I make abstract, fluid, and - I hope - evocative photographic prints and mixed media works.
I take inspiration from the smallest of details as I wander through my local wood and peer into moss-lined pools. How my images feel is as important as what they look like and I have begun to loosen the reins on my interpretations; we commonly think of water as liquid but it is equally vapour and at times may, briefly, be solid. I have learned to abstract even more, to dream a landscape, sometimes mixing the sights with the ambient sounds of this quiet place. The space and the ambiguity that this creates invites us each to find our own individual interpretations within the works.
Where possible I follow nature’s prompts, improvising tools and collecting materials; spontaneity seems to energise both me and my process. Currently, I use photographic prints on the thinnest of papers to create a colour ground in my mixed media works. This diaphanous layer substitutes for the surface of the water that I photograph; there are depths below to peer into and marks above to follow: gesso, ink, acrylic and spray paint, pen and pencil. I rarely use brushes preferring to push the materials around, score lines, flick or drop marks and build texture.
The threads that bind my work irrespective of media are curiosity and fluidity. I find it hard to let go of the wondering beauty of this place which I now call home.
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 became her creative outlet 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 landscape photography magazine. She has contributed over 170 articles and interviews since 2014.
Michela is represented by the Longitude Gallery, Clitheroe, Lancashire.
In late 2021 Michela moved to North East Scotland; water remains her primary source of inspiration. She has written about the transition in ‘Revisited’.
"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
2020 A Town Built on Water, Buxton Visitor Centre
2018 Of Wood and Water, The Joe Cornish Galleries, Northallerton
2016 Within Elements, Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek, with painter Tracy Barlow
2016 The Peak Photographic Gallery, Bakewell
2015 Liquid Light, Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Buxton
2015 Moments of Confluence: A River's Song, The Joe Cornish Galleries, Northallerton
Group Exhibitions and Art Fairs
Small Worlds, Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek
Buxton Art Trail
Derbyshire Open Arts, New Mills
The Great Dome Art Fair, The Devonshire Dome, Buxton
Derbyshire Open Arts, New Mills
Peak District Artisans at Chatsworth
Over Hills and Seas, Regency Town House, Hove, Brighton Photo Fringe
Peak District Artisans The Great Dome Art and Design Fair, The Devonshire Dome, Buxton
Derbyshire Open Arts, Spring Banks Arts Centre, New Mills, Derbyshire
Derbyshire Open Arts ‘Plus’, Beechenhill Farm, Ilam
Peak District Artisans' Chatsworth Exhibition