Behind the Scenes

August 2013

Multi-disciplinary artist Miik Green has created a series of aesthetically beautiful artworks on aluminium panels that capture attention.  They are shiny surfaces, so the viewer has to duck and twist to see the two-dimensional, mixed-media images in the reflective panels.


The pieces are part of Miik’s Xylem Series, exhibited in Western Australia in February 2013.  

At first glance the images appear to be cross-sections of plants or even human cells.  The colours are startling; the fine asymmetrical lines too pleasing to be random brushstrokes, surely?  How did he make this? 

I discover Miik has mixed products that react and oppose one another: separating, islanding and bleeding one into the other.  Now he has my attention: what a metaphor there is in that, I think to myself!  He uses enamels, resins, inks and even radioactive matter to investigate how bringing heterogeneous, synthetic materials together can reveal the inherent qualities found in natural forms, and the world around us.  

It turns out that the resistance between these synthetic products creates unique forms and surface patterns that reference the original, organic subject matter he seeks to reveal to the viewer. As Miik explains (2013): 

 "These natural structures can be viewed through the microscope and can reveal aspects of processes that were previously unseen, and seek to reveal similar ideas of the unseen in nature using art materials. The xylem function is a process in which a plant draws water up through internal structures: viewed in cross-section, these tubes reveal an intriguing arrangement of oval shapes. To represent these structures in an art context, the materials interact with (and resist) each other to re-create forms reminiscent of these microbiological shapes."

Suddenly I look at Miik’s aluminium panels with a greater understanding of his investigation in to side effects arising from mixing diverse materials.  I’m drawn into the story of unseen detail behind the scenes of work containing unique mathematical symmetry and fractal qualities.  I discover what fractal actually means, even though I don’t really understand the physics of it (ok, I don’t get it at all)!

Still, I marvel at the detail of the spatial patterns, fragmented through the collision of different materials and am left in awe of what lies beyond that which I can see with my natural eye. 

Reference: Green, M. 2013 Spillover exhibition notes. Linton and Kay Galleries, Perth, Western Australia.

Image: Xylem Series - Avium 6’ (surface detail). Mixed media on aluminium, 185 x 185cm, 2012. Image: Ben Phillips,

Artist: Miik Green