If James Miles (b. 1957) were to tell you a story it would have several well-defined but allegorical characters (three girls, a group of musicians, perhaps a bear and a salmon), involved in an activity (taking a drive, holding hands, exercising) both mundane and mythic, with only the essential objects at hand (a table, racket, house, ball, balloon), situated within a vast, sometimes distinctively detailed space, but more often one that is completely open, unadorned, stretching infinitely up and away, a single lozenge shaped cloud, or the sun, the only interruption.
His telling would include these silent spaces, for Miles is soft-spoken and reticent, and these stories are told through his well-known ink drawings of miniature scenes. Their unusually combined perspectives blur the limits of inside/outside, near/far, small/large, male/female, and past/present to entice the viewer/listener into the paradoxically immense spaces of his diminutive artwork. They are spaces that use the logic of dreams and fairytales, but in Miles’ versions, the ambiguity is always celebratory. And like every great universally told story, his reveal our shared love of simple pleasures enjoyed with one another, on a gorgeous day that we hope will never end.
Miles has been an artist at Creativity Explored since 1997. In 2011, CB2, one of our Community Arts Partners, used Miles’ work to adorn a pillow design.