Here’s the very first part of the other branch of The Secret Garden series. We’re going to present here the artist dealing with visual arts, painting, photography etc. Our first guest is Garbhán Myles who comes from Ireland. His dense and mysterious works surely make a big impression and gently tickle the imagination. Apart from photography Garbhan also makes ambient music – you can find some samples under the Soundcloud link which you can find below.
[Interview by Valentine Wiggin]
Did you have a first encounter with art, that ultimately inspired you to become an artist?
I can’t say that I did at all.
How did you come up with this particular form of self expression? Why did you choose photography and sound?
It just seemed to happen by itself to be honest- with both sound work and photography.
What pushes you to create?
To be honest, I’ve no idea. Maybe the same thing that drives somebody somewhere to choose a big dirty massive bar of chocolate over a banana, or vice versa- no more bloody significant, and no less so either.
Tell us a little bit about your artistic background – any particular incidents or works that hold a place in your heart, and anything else you might feel is important.
My artistic background began by doing drawings of wee magical kingdoms and forests when I was a kid. I think I did some of my finest work back then, but most people would probably think it’s craptastic.
What kind of techniques do you normally use?
With photography I use Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) along with multiple exposures. ICM is matter of moving the camera around whilst the shutter is open (usually over a couple of seconds or so). This can create a pretty surreal/abstract look which more represents a feeling rather than just visually documenting a place/space. When any passerby’s see me twirling my camera around doing ICM shots, I often get looks like they think I’ve been let out of the local loony bin for the day and was given a camera for my outing ( I look plenty odd at the best of times as it is, never when twirling a camera around my noggin like a total loony tune).
What is the process you usually go through to complete a work, from beginning to end? Not just the technical aspects of the creative process, but also emotional preparation, your state of mind, something related that could trigger it and so on.
Before I begin any work, I dress up as medium size donkey and really tap into donkey-ness vibes to expand my frontal cortex. This before doing an oul cleansing of the aura by swinging the sacred sausage around me for 10 minutes whilst still dressed as a donkey, all the while repeating the words to ‘Row your boat down the stream’ backwards. Nah I’m just talking out my arse obviously- I do sweet feck all in ways of processes.
What are your preferred topics and places to shoot ?
My preferred photographic subject is the Irish landscape, both nearscapes with macro, as well as farscapes with more landscape photography. Olde ancient magick thrives here- in ancient woods, majestic mountains and whatnot, as well as under decaying manky oul rusty bin lids and whatnot. We’re a wee bit spoilt here even if we don’t realize it half the time.
Name some of your favourite artists, that constitute an influence and inspiration for your own work.
My biggest inspiration with regard to photography is without doubt with Mr Chris Friel. His techniques of Intentional Camera Movement along with multiple exposures was what led me down that road- he’s a living master. I both love and hate looking at his work at the same time- love it for seeing his inspirational mastery, and hate it because he’s just too damn good!
If it was up to you to describe what you do in the way that you see fit – and not necessarily restricted by classifications or labels – what words would you use?
Squirky tinkle, lops dozes, dumpy gauzy dippy tumble berries in an everlasting tea-pot. Well some crap like that anywho.
If you had to choose your favourite work of art up until now which one would it be?
Damn, I could never put it down to one only. There’s far too much, from ‘The Snowman’, to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ or anything by Master David Lynch, to ‘The Refinement Of The Decline’ album by Stars Of The Lid- onto Fantastic Mr Fox and many others.
What’s your everyday life like – job, family, other activities – and where does photography and music fit in it? Is it a crucial part of your life or do you view it more like a hobby?
It fits in, in that it is what dominates my life completely. I’m very obsessed about it, to an unhealthy extent most of the time (doubting myself mostly). It’s what I do all day, everyday. I’m mostly a recluse and don’t socialize much, if ever these days. I’ve a history of suffering with mood disorders, drug and booze abuse, and general madness- I struggle in social situations most of the time and struggle in my human suit the majority of the time too. Buck, I haven’t even being on a date in five years now. I live with my folks and it’s easy living- I get on very well with all my family and they tolerate my weird wee ways. I can’t hold down a job for more than five minutes before going into core meltdown stress madness (and a subsequent booze frenzy). Apart from that, I do big time enjoy folk around here- most are dead friendly and down to earth- even if all I see of folk is when getting out to walk the dog for half an hour- does the sally noggin wonders.
What is your opinion of social media? Do you see the necessity of their use as a hindrance or a tool, with regard to the promotion of your work and its understanding by the public?
It is definitely a necessity whether anyone likes it or not. With millions of folk all uploading their work on a daily basis, therefore trying to reach the other millions, it becomes all the more harder to get do. Maybe its very blessing is its very curse? I’m not sure it’s made it any easier to make a living as an artist than it was for artists pre-internet.
What are your goals for the future?
To get more grey in the hair department, and thus hopefully look more like a wizard as opposed to looking like a garden gnome as I do now. I’ve also plenty of ideas for my work with various projects and whatnot, but then again the future might have very different plans for my ass.
And finally, do you have a message for our readers?
Yes- pink is the new purple. Unless you’re reading this in 2053 in which it will be red.