14 December – 7 January 2022
On the occasion of the release of the highly anticipated book ‘Birdmen’, Messums London organises an exhibition of unique vintage photographs by Dod Miller and a book signing in our Cork Street gallery.
‘The Birdman competition is the quintessence of British humour and eccentricity. Held each summer along the south coast of England in West Sussex, people dressed in different garb attempt to fly off piers – the further the possible for prize money before splash landing in the water. The competition is to this date divided into different categories, ranging from professional hang gliders and engineers of homemade Leonardo Da Vinci flying machines, to people dressed in humorous costumes raising money for charity. The elevated ramp from which they throw themselves ranges from 20 to 40 feet high.’
“From 1994 until 2001, in Brighton, Eastbourne and Bognor Regis, Dod Miller immortalised these human ‘birds’ with his Rolleiflex camera. Supermen, witches, dinosaurs, butterflies, ostriches, penguins and winged species of all kinds posed for Miller ready for their take off, armed with goggles and swimming flippers.”
Extracts from the text If only humans could fly: Dod Miller’s Birdmen
by Dr Julie Bonzon
Working primarily in black and white, Dod Miller has covered some of the key events of modern history. Miller grew up in the former Soviet Union, the US and South Africa before continuing his education in South London. In the mid-1980s, Miller started freelancing for The Times, The Sunday Times and later for The Observer before joining Network, a London-based independent, cooperatively-owned picture agency. Alongside his work as a photojournalist, Miller has developed personal projects imbued with a sense of theatre and humour, casting light on the cinematic and the uniqueness of British culture.
Join the online talk by Dod Miller with Martin Parr CBE and Sophie Green discussing British eccentricities expressed through photography on Monday 22 November at 6pm Read more