11. Following the threads of fate

Being abstract, it might appear as a mere pattern, but it represents something the very nature of which is abstract and transcends all that we know on earth. (Thatcher: 1976: 2)

A bit of a random find this one…


I found this at the Antiques Centre at the back of Yarnton Nurseries of all places. It was one of those books that call out to you, announcing itself as worthy amongst the other history-tainted discards. It was indeed worthy: not only did the subject matter fascinate me, but also the paintings showed a purity of vision. Some were simply abstract, others more detailed, obviously landscapes. They were all delicate in their nature and their goal, as described in the inlay of the book, ‘is always to illuminate the symbols and phenomena of the world, not only to record but to discover nature’ (Thatcher: 1976: 2).

It appears to be a one-off for the artist Terry Miller who seems to be impossible to find on the Internet. Aside from a small piece of text at the back of the book, the only information I have is this (taken form Amazon feedback regarding the book): I lived across the street from Terry and carry with me a compliment he paid me when I was a gangly girl. I’m thrilled to have his wonderful work again’ Vera. Useful I’m sure you’ll agree.


The book was designed to ‘serve as an inspirational companion to the study of the I Ching” in 1976. Mysteriously the copyright and date has been masked over with semi-opaque tape in an attempt to conceal.

What struck me was the format and simplicity of these graphic picture worlds (one for each of the sixty-four hexagrams). I was inspired to create my own…

P1050155_1 P1050158_2 P1050157_3

Whereas Terry Miller’s paintings were produced with a fine one-hair brush (!) and pen I created these using charcoal, compressed charcoal and masking tape. They were made quickly using compositional strategies directly influenced by Miller’s work whilst allowing the fluidity of the charcoal do its own thing. I am pleased with this process and the format still intrigues me. This is certainly something to consider pursuing in the future with my own abstracted, imaginary landscapes.

The I Ching is a deeply enigmatic piece of text and deals with, amongst many other facets, the mechanic of time and space. I am keen to delve deeper.

For anyone with an interest this website appears to offer up a concise introduction…



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