Portrait of Barrie Cooke by Nick Miller (b.1962)

Portrait of Barrie Cooke

Date: 1997
Dimensions: 94.5 × 95cm
Medium: Oil on linen
Collection: Niland Collection
Provenance: Purchased in 1997


Nick Miller was born in London in 1962 and studied Development Studies at the University of East Anglia before deciding to pursue his interest in art. Relocating to Ireland, he spent almost a decade in Dublin before moving to Kilmactranny, County Sligo, where he lived until his recent move to Rosses Point.

While much of Miller’s recent work has focused on the unruly hedgerows and rugged fields of Kilmactranny, he is also an accomplished portrait, figure and still life painter. In his encounters with each genre, Miller applies the same focused attention to capturing the atmosphere or mood of his subject. Inevitably, it is when the artist knows his subject well – be that a field or a figure – that this concentrated approach is most successful. Such paintings suggest the passage of time spent, not only in the physical laying on of paint, but also in developing a rapport between artist and subject.

The artist Barrie Cooke, who lives near Kilmactranny, is a close friend and helped Miller to acquire the truck he uses as a mobile studio. When he agreed to sit for this portrait, Cooke asked for a mirror to be set up so that he could watch the painting process.

Written by Riann Coulter


About the Artist

Nick Miller (b.1962)

Born 1962, London, England. Nick Miller is a leading Irish contemporary artist. He has pursued different ‘traditional’ genres of representation, including the figure, portraits, and still life, as well as landscape, adopting different modes of working in each case appropriate to his particular concerns. The resulting work has a unique intensity of vision that continues to challenge expectations of being in, seeing and painting the world. His desire to work only from direct observation led to his adapting a commercial truck, enabling him to take his “mobile studio” into the landscape. The resulting “Truckscapes” have been shown to acclaim in Ireland, Europe and the USA. Born in 1962, Miller is a member of Aosdána since 2001 and has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally including solo exhibitions at: The New York Studio School (2008), Limerick City Gallery (2008), Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (2007), Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle (2004), Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2003)and the Irish Museum of Modern Art Dublin (1994). In 2002 he curated the visit to Ireland of Chinese artist Chen Zhongsen including amongst other events a joint exhibition at The Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo. He has lived in County Sligo since 1992.

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