– I’ve been meaning to write about Graham Miller’s work for a while now. His series Suburban Splendour is some of my favorite new work I’ve seen. The rich colors and great compositions give Miller’s work a very cinematic feel and like any good director Miller is able to bring true emotions out of his subjects. It is hard to believe the photos are staged because of how much we get from each character in the series. Each image shows the character in a moment of personal reflection and an overall sense of longing and desperation fill the series.
The inspiration for Suburban Splendour came from numerous sources. Images materialised from encounters observed while driving, walking to the shops or visiting friends, from eavesdropping and casual conversation, but more often than not the photographs were inspired by literature and cinema. Films by Paul Thomas Anderson, Jim Jarmusch, and Ray Lawrence all contributed, as did writing by Richard Ford and the lyrics of Paul Kelly. But the background soundtrack which remained constant was the voice of the American short story writer Raymond Carver. Carver’s vision depicts ordinary blue collar people living lives of quiet desperation, people who are feeling their way in the dark with the hope that maybe next week things will get better. Reading his work, now nearly twenty years after his death, it seems to me that his writing taps into a sense of contemporary isolation that reflects the anomie, uncertainties and vulnerabilities of existing in a world changed after 9/11, and on a planet which contemplates an undecided environmental future.
© Graham Miller
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