Studio Viewing Room
Newsletter , Summer 2022

Summer of Love (and war)

Greetings to all,

It seems like we are being endlessly challenged to cope with ever more difficult realities of life on our beleaguered planet – wars of all sorts, both inside and outside our minds continue at a pace.

The studios, both my own and time spent in Patrick Hall's continue to offer personal sanctuary and the Studio Viewing Room I hope is a non-intrusive window to one person’s ongoing responses through painting. Turning 60 this summer, these shows are the closest thing to a party for me and If you can get to any in person to see the work, I would be delighted. I feel beyond grateful to all those of you, near and far who have helped make it possible for me to be still living out this reverie.


Sanctuary I. 2022 | Oil pastel on canvas | 64 x 61 cm

I have continued a long term collaboration with fellow painter Patrick Hall (b.1935) that pervades a lot of the work on show this year - He remains an inspirational friend, painter and subject whom I have known since the late 1980's. These shows follow follow the long postponed exhibition of his work Beginnings (PDF) that I recently curated at The Model Sligo. I have spent Sundays since the first lockdown working in his studio. I first painted Patrick in 1994, a portrait in IMMA collection and many times since, including these most recent works on view in Sanctuary at Hillsboro Fine Art . In the autumn a first showing of a large un-exhibited naked portrait – Wilderness : Painting Patrick Hall (2016-22) in a new exhibition Still Nature at Art Space Gallery, London (Sept 8th -21st Oct 2022).

Sanctuary : Nick Miller and Patrick Hall

Hillsboro Fine Art
9th June - 9th July 2022


Made over the last two years during Miller’s weekly visits to Hall’s studio, a shared working practice for both painters that began by circumstance and became formalised during the pandemic. The resulting works arise from the gift of a quietude and unexpected sanctuary inhabited by both artists as they respond through painting to the worlds in which they find themselves. Patrick Hall at eighty-six, continues his open-ended working meditations on consciousness, and freedom. Nick Miller pursues his long term engagement with portraiture, taking ‘being in the moment of making’ and the encounter with Hall himself as his subject. In these repeated moments of Sanctuary – in work and in company – the painter paints the painter painting.

For both Miller and Hall, in different ways, the works themselves are the curious remnants of space and time shared together – attempts to let paintings arise in whatever manner they will, from the energy of life, rather than through the forceful direction of human will. Hall currently draws and paints with ink and watercolour on a scale that does not create physical resistance, allowing as direct a passage possible from consciousness to material realisation. As Miller’s portraits of him often show, he works with both hands ambidextrously but unconsciously without manifest intent. Nick Miller has regularly painted Patrick Hall since the early 1990s, and these new works began with ink drawings before adopting oil pastels for use in painting, a new medium for him that came alive in these particular portraits made in Hall’s studio. His 2021 portrait from this series;
Patrick Hall – painting is included in the current Zurich Portrait Prize, recently on show at the National Gallery of Ireland and now at Crawford Gallery, Cork.

A public conversation between the artists was filmed at the Model Sligo, in November 2021. The film and catalogue that provide further context for the current work can be seen at links below

49 Parnell Square West
Dublin, D01 A971

Exhibition continues
until 9th July 2022
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Video Article by Enda O'Dowd

PDF is available: HERE

Images below:
Working Drawing 13. Patrick Hall, 2021, Ink & watercolour on paper, 25 x 25 cm
2. (hover)
Patrick Hall, – painting. Co Sligo, studio, 2021. Nick Miller & Patrick Hall
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Working Drawing 15. Patrick Hall, 2022, Ink & watercolour on paper, 30 x 50 cm
2. (hover)
PH resting. 16-6-21, Oil pastel on canvas . Nick Miller, 60 x 80 cm

Zurich Portrait Prize

National Gallery of Ireland
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Portrait of Patrick Hall – painting

Zurich Portrait Prize
National Gallery of Ireland

13 November 2021 - 3rd April 2022
Crawford Art Gallery, Cork
Continues until 17 July 2022

Portrait of Patrick Hall – painting
Nick Miller | 2021 | Oil pastel / paint on linen | 102 x 92 cm

Forthcoming events


Opening to the public from 1 pm to 3 pm on Saturday, July 2nd, this exhibition is the first of a number of events that will take place at The Dock over the summer of 2022, looking at and marking the North West as a place of artistic and cultural production.

The exhibition does not operate as a survey of practice from the area and does not function to provide an overview of current practice linked to place, but rather is a specific curatorial exercise in bringing together exemplary practices that define themselves as from the area, rather than about the area, a distinct definition.

The artists in the exhibition have certain similarities with those markers that define success in artistic practice, for example major survey and retrospective exhibitions in national and international cultural institutions, national representation in biennales, artworks in national and international collections, critical and curatorial consensus around the work. Their practices are not linked by any conceptual underpinning, approach or outcome; the link is the place, the North West and the area as a place of making.

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The Dock Arts Centre

Flowering and seeding
Nick Miller | 2018 | oil on linen | 214 x 183 cm
For More info on this painting see

Left (hover):
In the vicinity of the Yellow Mountain
Patrick Hall | 2007 | Oil on linen | 154 x 184 cm

Exhibiting artists are Alice Lyons, Dee Barragry, Grace Weir, Jo Conway, Mark Garry, Nick Miller, Orla McHardy, Patrick Hall, Paul Hallahan, Ronnie Hughes, Tommy Weir and Walker and Walker and is curated by Dock Director, Ruth Carroll.

Still Nature

Art Space Gallery
84 St Peter's Street, London, N1 8JS

8th September - 21st October 2022

SAVE THE DATE –  8th Sept 2022

Details & Press Release
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Still Nature | Publication

The publication includes a new text, teasing out aspects of these universal existential concerns, by Los Angeles based philosopher, Brian Treanor, whose interdisciplinary writing includes the recent book, Melancholic Joy: On life worth living (2021), and an essay offering some context in terms of contemporary art by writer and critic Martin Herbert, associate editor at Art Review and author of numerous books including Tell them I Said No and monographs on Mark Wallinger Carol Bove and Tal R.

Available soon
StillNatureMail to request or for more information
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Circling and returning: East ( 2019-20 )
Nick Miller | Oil on Linen | 186 x 168 cm

Previous related shows:

Vessels Nature Morte ( 2016)
Rootless (2018)
Generously supported by:

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Wilderness: Painting Patrick Hall | 2016-22 | Oil on Linen | 214 x 183 cm and behind : Portrait of The Venerable Panchen Otrul Rinpoche | 2006 | Oil on Linen | 214 x 183 cm
LEFT Studio view :
Painting Noreen: Family blooms | 2021 | Oil on Linen | 142 x 122 cm

Still Nature


When Nick Miller’s exhibition of still-lives of seasonal blossoms and fronds in an array of containers titled Vessels : Nature Morte opened at Art Space Gallery in 2016 Jackie Wullschlager wrote:

The vessels in this ravishing suite of paintings are metaphors for human clay, emptiness, absence and also individuality, with implications too of stores for memory, solid forms holding shifting recollections fluid as water. Exquisitely delineated, Miller’s series of vases and pots – glass, ceramic, simple, ornate, opaque, reflective – denote those which, one by one, the artist removed to his studio from his mother’s collection when he visited her during her last illness from 2014-2015.(1)

If these pictures were Miller’s way of processing the trauma of losing a parent, they would also have a profound effect on his art. Still-life and studio portraiture had been a part of his practice in the 90s but he had moved outdoors and developed a major reputation in Ireland as a landscape painter working en plein air from the back of a mobile truck. Now, back in the studio he developed those early beginnings with ever more ambitious and experimental pictorial challenges that has seen a trilogy of exhibitions spanning eight years in which he has re-energised the still-life genre on a monumental scale.

After the intimate Vessels : Nature Morte came Rootless in 2018: a series set in studio interiors that were epic in size and complexity and
...musings on impermanence, fragility, order, art and nature (2).

And now in
Still Nature the human form returns to find a place along with found and collected memorabilia, marine life from the shore close to his studio and Buddhist and Taoist deities that together take on a ritualistic and sacramental air that comment movingly on the human condition in adversity and on Man’s ability to endure and remain creative even during the worst of times

Michael Richardson Art Space Gallery, 2022

(1) Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times. 3 September, 2016,
(2.)Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times. 16 February, 2019

Enquires / information

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