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Interior of my studio.

An exhibition by Mishima Kimiyo in one of the ground floor galleries.

The Art Factory is in an industrial area in Jonanjima. Much-loved sakura (cherry blossoms) were in flower all over Tokyo.

The view from the Art Factory roof

11/06/2015

This will be the first in a series of occasional messages from Tokyo about my work in Japan and other interesting items.

My studio at the Art Factory is in a renovated warehouse in Jonanjima, Ota-ku, Tokyo near Haneda Airport. It was set up by Toyoko Inns as a community-based studio space.

The Art Factory is a vast space that includes a gallery and a library on the ground floor, and meeting areas. The studios are on the 4th floor and there is an annex for sculpture and woodwork. The roof terrace has a great view of Tokyo and you can watch planes take off from nearby Haneda Airport. The Art Factory is on reclaimed land, hence the geometric shape. In spite of all the trucks and airplanes, it is quiet and peaceful place to work.

 

15/06/2015

I was recently interviewed by ZoneOne Arts, an Australian online arts magazine. The interviewer is Deborah Blakeley. She is building up a vast collection of interviews with artists and craftspeople from all over the world.

Ed Miliano, has been painting for decades, he has taken his formal training and takes his art beyond painting. By adding light, colour, seasons and place, Ed Miliano draws us to understand and see beyond the known to the beautiful.

Zoneone Arts is delighted to bring Ed Miliano to you…

Can you explain about your time at the Pratt Institute in NY and why when it is mentioned in the art world we all sit up?

I suppose it might be because Pratt Institute has been around for a long time and many famous and talented people have been associated with it. Many important artists and designers have taught at Pratt. When you are at Pratt your world is opened up to many different disciplines associated with the arts — architecture, sculpture, painting and dance, for example, are all under the same roof. The most important thing I learned at Pratt was to think conceptually.

After the Pratt you worked as a designer and illustrator in the USA and Ireland can you discuss how this aspect of your work has allowed you to develop your current style?

Working as a designer and illustrator taught me to be disciplined about my work. At Pratt, I studied painting, drawing and printmaking which are all skills I still use. When I paint, I think a lot about the design of the picture.

Your work 'Fartha Wood Mural': How did this project come about?

Joseph Walsh, the furniture designer, lovingly restored a traditional Irish cottage that his grandfather lived in using traditional techniques. Joseph wanted to put his own stamp on the cottage. That included inviting me to paint a mural that wraps around the entire interior of the parlour room.

The materials, mud, lime, timber, and thatch how have they influenced the work?

The building is made from lime plaster over mud and straw. I therefore had to use paint that was breathable. The surface of the lime plaster over mud is very uneven which affected the way I drew on the walls.

How and where does the mural relate to the building and its use?

The mural wraps around four walls and the walls are undulating. It is a little like the cave paintings at Lascaux in that the texture and indentations really add to the work. The location of the cottage is in the countryside, surrounded by woods. The material they use at the studio is mostly wood. The mural fits into both the surrounding environment and has references to what is produced at the studio.

Discuss the technical process the work took?

I made sample panels using lime plaster and did trials with a few different types of paint. The best were lime pigments from a paint supplier in Carlow that I could either mix with water or a bonding agent. I preferred the latter because it dried a little faster and it was easier to achieve certain effects. It is very similar to dry fresco.

What aspect of this project was to give you the greatest pleasure?

Joseph Walsh Studios is in rural Ireland and I really enjoyed working there because I was surrounded by nature. It's also nice to work with people when you work alone most of the time. Joseph Walsh is a very inspirational designer and there is really good energy in his workshop. I loved the reactions I got from local people and those who visited the studio as the mural developed.

'The Nature of Time'...

How do you describe this work, as an installation or a collection?

'The Nature of Time' was an exhibition at the Oliver Sears Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. Part of that exhibition was 'Diary', a very large piece I made in 2011-12. I painted the garden outside my studio every day for over a year. 'Diary' is both an installation and a collection. It is an installation because I change it to fit within the space it is being shown in. 'Diary' was first shown in the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) which is a modern museum-type space. There it was installed in one long wall, while at the Oliver Sears Gallery it was shown on six separate walls. The way it is installed changes the way it is viewed and makes the viewer notice different things. 'Diary' is also a collection of paintings. The individual paintings are part of a whole. This is a concept I am very interested in and am continuing to explore.

How did the inspiration come about?

I have studied Horticulture and am a very keen gardener. I have been developing the garden at our home in South County Dublin for over twenty years. In 'Diary', I wanted to create something that would collectively describe the garden in a way that one painting could not.

How important was the scale to this work?

The scale of the work was very important. When I started 'Diary' I made larger paintings but quickly realised I would have to reduce the size. Multiplying one painting by 366 yields very large results.

Before commencing did you have the Galleries space?

I did not have a gallery space secured before I started working on 'Diary'. I wrote to institutions that I thought were suitable. The Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) was one institution and Patrick Murphy, the director, made several studio visits to view the progression of the work.

How important was it for you to look and re-look at the same space?

Looking over and over at the same space is a big part of what 'Diary' is about so that became very important to me. The same view would seem different from day to day depending on the light, the time of day, my mood, the weather and so on.

Expand on your feeling of connection between nature and man in this work?

Gardens are totally man-made and nature is wild. I love the idea of man trying to wrestle with nature in order to tame it. Nature doesn't want to be controlled, but we persist. Birds fly into our garden — wild creatures that enter the garden freely. Even though we may want birds in our gardens, we don't really have any control over them. They come and go as they please. For me, birds are a reminder of the wildness of nature. This thinking led me to make some bronze sculptures of blackbirds that I included in my exhibition.

What aspect of colour and light did you need to work through?

In terms of colour and light, I basically reacted to and painted what I saw when I saw it. I liked to start a painting in the early morning but there were some days when I had to start later. A late start meant that the light was very different. I never worried too much about that though because I was creating a diary and if I had a late start it was for a reason. This all became part of the story.

Did you always paint the squares or did you have to rely on photographs at times due to other personal commitments?

I painted in my studio every day for 14 months in total. There was one time when I left after I finished a painting but returned before dark the next day so that I had time to complete the next one. At one point I was sick with a chest infection for a couple of weeks but I still went into the studio to make my picture and then crawled back into bed afterwards.

How did the amount of time needed for this project impact on your year?

Making 'Diary' became my whole life for the year. I loved making it and I loved the discipline. I like to set out rules for myself as a kind of matrix to work within.

Would you suggest that others follow a similar project and what would they gain from the experience?

I don't like suggesting ideas to other artists. The ideas and inspiration have to come from within.

What and where is the work now?

The work is with me in Tokyo. I am hoping to show it in Japan while I am here. I am convinced that it will really appeal to the Japanese aesthetic. I would also love for a museum or public institution to buy it and show it permanently. It has great impact and I want to keep it intact as one piece of work.

Did your work 'Diary' influence 'Nature of Time' project?

Yes of course, 'Diary' influenced my 'Nature of Time' exhibition. The new pictures expanded on some of the themes of 'Diary'. I was also able to develop some of the ideas on a much larger scale.

Is it currently influencing you work today?

'Diary' still continues to influence me. It was an important stage in my development as an artist and, I see it as significant in my development as an artist.

What lead to Four Days to becoming prints?

Since I planned to keep 'Diary' intact I thought a series of prints based on four of the paintings would be interesting as a smaller work. I also did some monoprints as part of 'Diary' so it wasn't a huge stretch to make prints.

You have traveled extensively discuss the way you have to rethink colour in different environments and light?

Colour and light are different in different places and no matter where I am my environment affects me.

You are currently in Japan how is this country influencing your work?

I am looking at a lot of Japanese art and culture from all periods. Japan has a deep history and there is a lot to learn. I am reading about Japan and reading Japanese literature so naturally, it all has an influence on me. I want to take my time so I can understand the culture better but there are already some things I know I want to use in my work — for example, I love Japanese screens and the way Japanese artists use gold in paintings.

As an artist who has amazing travel locations discuss what you take and what you give to each country you live in?

I try to remain open-minded and receptive to new ideas and different ways of doing things. For example, in Japan I am studying Mokuhanga printmaking. This is a traditional technique using water-based inks that can be adapted to contemporary work.

Can you discuss your technique of using oil on paper?

I like painting on unprimed rag paper because it absorbs the paint quickly and dries fast. When the painting is finished, I apply three coats of gesso to the back of the paper to preserve it. I realise this is unorthodox but I have some work that is over ten years old and it is still in good condition.

Discuss the importance of exhibiting your art work and perhaps one or two aspects you have gain from an exhibition?

I love showing my work and I love 'making' a show. It is what I work towards. Exhibitions force me to look at my work and, in some way, they are like completing a chapter of my life.

Expand in the importance of composition in your art and art in general?

Composition is important but I don't really think about it anymore. I think it is totally intuitive now.

This is one of the paintings I am showing in Airmail. It is oil on paper and is called Hayashi, which is Japanese for Woods.

22/06/2015

I am in a group show called Airmail at Yanagisawa Gallery in Saitama, Tokyo from 4 - 18 July 2015. The exhibition is of small works on paper. Ten artists are in the show, including Anthony Little, Charles Tyrell, Chung Eun Mo, Claire Carpenter, Eithne Jordan, George Snowden, Natalie du Paquier, Roisín Lewis and Richard Gorman. The exhibition was curated by Richard Gorman who has been associated with the Yanigasawa Gallery since he started coming to Japan over 25 years ago.

Yo Takahashi inking a woodblock.

A print I am working on. This is based on a photo I took at the Pola Art Museum in Hakone, Japan.

These are Mokuhanga (or wood cutting) tools.

29/06/2015

I have been learning Mokuhanga printmaking since coming to Japan. Mokuhanga is a woodblock printing technique using water-based inks. It is a very traditional method but easily adapted to new ideas. Many Japanese artists still practice Mokuhanga. The beauty of this method for me is that you can easily do it in your own studio. It requires no large equipment at all. My teacher is Yo Takahashi, a master printmaker working in Japan for over 30 years. To learn more about Yo-san's work go to workwater.exblog.jp.

Paintings by Ed Miliano and Eithne Jordan at 'Airmail'.

Four small paintings by Richard Gorman.

One of the four drawings sent by airmail by Anthony Little.

06/07/2015

"Airmail" was officially opened on Saturday at the Yanagisawa Gallery in Tokyo. The exhibition includes 40 small works by ten artists. Richard Gorman curated the show and invited Anthony Lyttle, Charles Tyrell, Chung Eun Mo, Claire Carpenter, Ed Miliano, Eithne Jordan, George Sowden, Nathalie du Pasquier, Roisín Lewis to participate. It is 'Tsu yu', or the rainy season in Japan and it was raining all day on Saturday. In spite of the weather, we had a good opening and afterwards had a delicious meal with a few friends and artists in a local izakaya (local pub/restaurant).

13/07/2015

I had a studio visit this week from the Yufuku Gallery in Aoyama, Tokyo. They came to see 'Diary'. In 2011, I painted one oil painting every day of the garden outside my studio window. It was shown in 'Futures 12' in September 2012 and again at the Oliver Sears Gallery in 2014 in a one-man show. I would like to show 'Diary' in Japan. I think it will appeal to Japanese sensibilities. It is about nature and time, two subjects that are frequent themes in Japanese art. I have done a partial installation of 'Diary' in the Art Factory. I was given the use of one wall which can show just over five months - 162 paintings. It is good to see the work again. I can still remember making each painting and often, I can remember specific details of the day.

20/07/2015

I am working on a new print based on a photograph I took at the Pola Art Museum in Hakone, Japan. I have just completed four Mokuhanga prints at this stage. One of them was done for the Yeats exhibition that opens at SO Fine Art in Dublin on 26 November 2015. Five writers and 25 artists were invited to participate. We were asked to make a print in response to Yeats' writing. I chose 'In The Seven Woods' which was written in 1903. The first prints I made were based on drawings and paintings.

27/07/2015

The Oliver Sears Gallery will be presenting an exhibition in London. "In Residence" will open in October and will include the work of 24 artists. The show will take place at Six Fitzroy Square, Fitzrovia, London. The exhibition, curated by Brian Kennedy, features painting, sculpture, photography and applied arts. I will be showing a large oil on four separate canvases called 'Wood'.

25/08/2015

"In The Seven Woods" is my contribution to the forthcoming Yeats exhibition. It is a Mokuhanga print on Washi paper. I created it in the studio of Yo Takahashi in Tokyo.

SO Fine Art Editions is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Yeats' birth with a prestigious exhibition titled 'A lonely impulse of delight' featuring original works from Ireland's top writers and artists. This exhibition is part of the official 'Yeats 2015' celebrations and incorporates the works of 30 artists and writers. This exhibition will also include items of historic and artistic interest from Cuala Press, which was set up in 1908 by Elizabeth and Lilly Yeats with the support of their brother William Butler. Cuala Press played an important role in the Irish Literary Revival of the early 20th century and was also crucial to the subsequent development of printmaking in Ireland.

The exhibition will celebrate that visual-literary link by bringing some of Ireland's foremost printmakers, painters,sculptors and photographers together with some of our most renowned writers. The intention is to bring W.B. Yeats to contemporary audiences through the work of living artists and writers.

The exhibition is being produced by SO Fine Art Editions, 10 South Anne St., Dublin, and will open on November 26th, 2015. The show will then tour in Ireland and internationally, starting in Sligo, in December, 2015. The international tour will include venues in the USA, Sweden, UK, France and Japan.

Participating writers include: John Banville, Eavan Boland, Paul Muldoon, Edna O'Brien and Colm Tóibín. Participating visual artists include: Yoko Akino, Norman Ackroyd, Jean Bardon, John Behan, Michael Canning, Diana Copperwhite, Michael Cullen, Niamh Flanagan, Paul Gaffney, Martin Gale, Richard Gorman, Leo Higgins, Stephen Lawlor, Louise Leonard, Kate Mac Donagh, Kelvin Mann, James McCreary, Ed Miliano, Niall Naessens, Lina Nordenström, Lars Nyberg, Hughie O'Donoghue, Barbara Rae, Aoife Scott, Vincent Sheridan, Amelia Stein and Donald Teskey. View more Yeats' works @ sofinearteditions.com/a-lonely-impulse-of-delight-wb-yeats-150-years/ ...

A fundit campaign has started. For more information please go to: fundit.ie/project/a-lonely-impulse-of-delight-wb-yeats-150

16/11/2015

Futures Anthology 2011-2014 opens at the RHA on Thursday, 17 November 2015. Futures was a series of exhibitions showing the work of emerging artists. I was invited to take part in 2011 when I showed Diary. Now, after almost a decade of theses exhibitions, the RHA has invited the artists back to see how their work has developed. I am showing a piece called Landscape which is a collection of 40 wooden postcards each painted a shade of green. The greens are extracted from a photograph taken in Ireland. The work, in an edition of 5, consists of identical sets. Each set is hung randomly to mimic what happens in nature. I am showing three versions in the RHA.

The other artists participating are Helen G Blake, Jenny Brady, Peter Burns, Alan Butler, Neil Carroll, Anita Delaney, Emma Donaldson, Eleanor Duffin, Adam Gibney, Aoibheann Greenan, Tracy Hanna, Caoimhe Kilfeather, Vera Klute, Barbara Knezevic, Maggie Madden, Shane McCarthy, James Merrigan, Sheila Rennick, Jim Ricks, and Stephanie Rowe.

Futures Anthology continues until December 20th.

23/11/2015

A Lonely Impulse of Delight opens at SO Fine Art in Dublin on Thursday, 26 November 2015.

30 artists and writers were invited to respond to Yeats' work. The artists and writers participating are:

Norman Ackroyd; Yoko Akino; John Banville; Jean Bardon; John Behan; Eavan Boland; Michael Canning; Diana Copperwhite; Michael Cullen; Niamh Flanagan; Paul Gaffney; Martin Gale; Richard Gorman; Leo Higgins; Stephen Lawlor; Louise Leonard; Kate Mac Donagh; Kelvin Mann; James McCreary; Ed Miliano; Paul Muldoon; Niall Naessens; Lina Nordenström; Lars Nyberg; Edna O'Brien; Hughie O'Donoghue; Barbara Rae; Aoife Scott; Vincent Sheridan; Amelia Stein; Donald Teskey and Colm Tóibín

I selected In The Seven Woods by WB Yeats 1903

I have heard the pigeons of the Seven Woods
Make their faint thunder, and the garden bees
Hum in the lime-tree flowers; and put away
The unavailing outcries and the old bitterness
That empty the heart. I have forgot awhile
Tara uprooted, and new commonness
Upon the throne and crying about the streets
And hanging its paper flowers from post to post,
Because it is alone of all things happy.
I am contented, for I know that Quiet
Wanders laughing and eating her wild heart
Among pigeons and bees, while that Great Archer,
Who but awaits His hour to shoot, still hangs
A cloudy quiver over Pairc-na-lee.

All the light shines on the stag, strong and confident. It is his time. Yeats moves through these west of Ireland woods and reflects on his sense of time and place. As he writes his poem, the woods are teeming with life but Yeats senses a change is coming — the world around him is changing. Yeats too is changing and will emerge from this local, familiar scene a greater, more universal artist.

A lonely Impulse of Delight Catalogue

Transfiguration II, Mixed Media, 1966

Kimono Mishima, left, at her opening at the Art Factory

Erosion I, Mixed Media, 1966

Naoshima Sculpture with the artist

06/12/2015

Kimiyo Mishima is a Japanese artist who was born in 1932. A retrospective exhibition that chronicles every decade of her work, from the 1960s until the present, opened at the Art Factory in Tokyo this weekend.

Her early work, paintings with collaged elements, are sumptuously textured. You can clearly see the influence that Pop Art, especially Johns and Rauschenberg, had on her. Her collage techniques which use a lot of Western magazines and newspapers foretell of the work that is to come. After the 70s, she focused mostly on sculpture which incorporates many of the same elements. The scale is huge and confident. She is dealing with the detritus of everyday life and everything is recycled.

Last Summer I saw one of her large pieces in Naoshima and it is pictured here.

Woods, Oil on canvas, 2015

07/12/2015

'Woods' will open at the Oliver Sears Gallery on 28 January 2016 and runs until 10 March 2016. It is Ed Miliano's second solo exhibition at the gallery. In Spring 2014, Ed Miliano started work on a mural in an 18th century Irish cottage at Joseph Walsh Studios. Undulating, lime-washed walls became the canvas for this 8-week long project. Inspired by the landscape around Fartha, Co Cork, Ed began to sketch the woods he saw. The result is an abstract, 360° dry fresco mural of overlapping branches and sticks.

The mural started Miliano on a year-long journey. He created a new language for himself and the result is this new body of work. The work is abstract and based on woods and landscape mostly in Ireland. The references to Cezanne, Picasso and Duchamp are obvious but there are more subtle references to artists like Sol LeWitt and Giuseppe Penone.

21/01/2016

"Woods" opens at the Oliver Sears Gallery on Thursday the 28th of January, 2016. I finished the new paintings and have shipped it to the gallery. Pictured here is a very large diptych getting packed up for shipment via FedEx. The Japanese are a very organised people and they have worked out very precise ways of doing things. It is truly a pleasure to discover these things. For example this canvas is F12. They have standardised sizes: F, P and S. The numbers increase in proportion. For example 12 is larger than 10. The box on the left was specially made for the canvas and includes room for padding. I only had to say that the canvas was F12 and that there were two of them. The box is made from laminated sheets of very thick corrugated cardboard. The top screws into place with large plastic bolts. It is lighter than plywood and probably stronger. It is truly amazing to work here. If you want to see the front of the canvas please visit the Oliver Sears Gallery anytime before March 10th.

07/12/2015

"Airmail" opens at the Fenderesky Gallery in Belfast on the 28 January 2016. I have four small collages in the exhibition. The other artists include: Claire Carpenter, Roberto Caracciolo, Nathalie du Pasquier, Chung Eun Mo, Nuala Goodman, Paul Goodwin, Richard Gorman, Jin Hirosawa, Felix Humm, Eithne Jordan, Mayumi Kimura, Salvatore Licrita, Anthony Lyttle, Roisin Lewis, Yuuka Miyajima, Jyunko Ogawa, Andrea Pitzalis, Roberto Rizzo, George Sowden, Masaki Tanabe and Charles Tyrrell The Fenderesky Gallery is located at 31 North Street in Belfast.

fendereskygallery.com Special thanks to Richard Gorman for curating the exhibition.

"Airmail" flies to Milan in April.

03/04/2015

Richard Gorman’s Airmail exhibition opens at ASSAB ONE in Milan on April 5th and runs until May 6th, 2016. The exhibition started at the Yanigasawa Gallery in Saitama, Japan and then travelled to Belfast’s Fenderesky Gallery. It began with about ten artists and now includes a few more. Invited artists include: Alessia Bernardini, Dafne Boggeri, Vincenzo Cabiati, PierLuigi Calignano, Chiara Camoni, Roberto Caracciolo, Claire Carpenter, Eun Mo Chung, David Crone, Flavio de Marco, Blaise Drummond, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Simonetta Ferrante, Martin Gale, Nuala Goodman, Paul Goodwin, Pamela Gorman, Richard Gorman, Sheila Gorman, Pino Guidolotti, Giovanni Hänninen, Jin Hirosawa, Ronnie Hughes, Felix Humm, Eithne Jordan, Mayumi Kimura, Roisin Lewis, Salvatore Licitra, Claudia Losi, Anthony Lyttle, Antoni Malinowski, Amedeo Martegani, Andrea Mastrovito, Ed Miliano, Yuuka Miyajima, Jyunko Ogawa, Luca Pancrazzi, Steve Piccolo, Federico Pietrella, Andrea Pitzalis, Roberto Rizzo, Francesco Simeti, George Sowden, Alessandra Spranzi, Masaki Tanabe, Charles Tyrrell, Luca Vitone.

The work is all small (less than 30cm on each side), unframed and reasonably priced. Japan, Italy and Ireland are three places that have been home to Richard Gorman.