Within this dreamscape, different characters take shape and develop, such as the horse of lights that first appears in ‘gleaming h’ on the cusp of a looming storm, and then again lurking on the edge of a swamp in ‘black electric’ like a recurrence in a dream. Other symbols follow their own paths. Flowers blow from painting to painting like an echo of sexual excitement; white cords bind characters to nature, and the paintings to each other; lakes swollen with the milk of human kindness glow against the night sky. All combine to create a landscape where the artist’s experiences are transformed and sublimated into a personal myth and folklore.
The disarming simplicity of Miriam’s world is carried through on a physical level in her technique. Her use of paint is light and unfussy, often comprising just one layer of paint thinly applied to produce a luminous, shimmering quality, which is then studded with concentrations of bold, thick colour. This clear focus on purity over complication emphasizes the consistency in Miriam’s approach at both conceptual and aesthetic levels, both of which combine to enhance the sense of other-worldliness that dominates her paintings.
As such, while Miriam’s work and her visual language may sit within the context of new romantic painters such as Peter Doig or Neo Rauch, her agenda is quite different. Rather than exploring symbolism from a temporal perspective (such as the politicism prevalent in much German painting or re-interpreting the moment of the photograph), Miriam uses her paintings to re-examine the function of metaphor in story-telling. In particular she looks at how this can be used to digest personal experiences whilst simultaneously articulate common basics and values relationships to nature, to each other, and to our own experiences and memories. This sincere, animistic approach to painting goes to the very heart of visual story-telling, and marks out Miriam’s work as a truly exciting exploration of painting’s more fantastic possibilities.
James Freeman, Sesame Gallery, London