Genre | Patrick Hall

Still life for Lichen with Constable. Kilmactranny studio 2003

Nick Miller’s inner world has a denseness and a certain sombre singularity that I have no argument with. In it, feeling, resonance, unsaid things colour communication and reality in such a way that it affects me as if I were coming down, alone, to the bank of a river. His vision is puzzled, essentially. Meeting him, there are no hellos or good-byes. He takes his cue from something unuttered. He isn’t smart, though he sometimes tries to be worldly to give the impression of managing OK. You never have to explain yourself to him, he is what another friend of mine calls, twice-born. I don’t know of anyone else, outside certain members of my family, who has this unknowingness. In contrast to this his paintings have a certain knowing coherence, something accomplished, a sort of stasis, somewhere he crosses a bridge, but he always comes back. He is not normal. That he would love to be, emphasizes this. He paints landscapes, still lifes and portraits. But these are just the plants that grow on his banks. He is the river. I suppose you could say they keep it from drying up. It flows on, he endures. Some eastern thinkers do not separate nirvana from samsara; life and death are one, everything is wholeness.

Patrick Hall, Killadoon, 2004