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Artist jazzed about new exhibit

Constable channels Davis with Miles Does Miles

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 06:00 am

TWO MILES – Miles Constable's Ah Leu Cha was created while he listened to Miles Davis' version.
TWO MILES – Miles Constable's Ah Leu Cha was created while he listened to Miles Davis' version.
Supplied photo

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Miles Does Miles
Works by Miles Constable
On display until Wednesday, June 25
The Daffodil Gallery
10412 124 St. in downtown Edmonton
Call 780-760-1278 or visit www.daffodilgallery.ca for more information.

A local painter shouldn’t be feeling kind of blue these days. His new solo exhibit has just opened up at the Daffodil Gallery in Edmonton, proof positive that the man has been workin’ hard, and with some pretty cool jazz in the background to keep him company and provide inspiration at the same time.

Miles Constable has always been a big fan of jazz master Miles Davis. Now, with Miles Does Miles, art buffs will see how the former channeled the latter or how the latter’s tunes either inspired the former, or both.

“In large part … channeling Miles Davis!” Constable laughed. “I absolutely love his work. I’ve got 30, 35 albums. When I’m painting I’m always listening to jazz music. I find it’s just really innervating and acts symbiotically with my mind when I’m painting. And a lot of what I listen to is Miles Davis.”

“Miles Davis’ works are like aural abstracts that energize my brain while I’m putting paint to canvas,” he stated.

That’s why the well-versed abstract painter devised the concept for the unified show wherein he painted while Davis played in the background, and naming each of the finished works after the tune that inspired it.

That has led to some interesting conversations for the painter.

“People ask me, ‘Well, what does ‘Ah Leu Cha’ mean?’ I say, ‘I don’t really know.’ I don’t know why he named that piece of music that.”

There are 16 pieces in total in the show, and yes, Ah Leu Cha is one.

You can view his versions of Bitches Brew, Spanish Key, Amandla, Maiysha, Solea, Pfrancing, and the diptych of Vonetta and Pee Wee, to name but a few. Constable might not know what all of those names mean but there is also Sivad which he figured out is simply Davis spelled backwards.

With the musician’s auteuristic musical style and artistic sensibility, it makes for a match made in heaven. Constable is an abstract painter who considers Davis’ jazz to make for a fine auditory counterpart to his own visual interpretations.

“It was fairly abstract music. He had the same problem as abstract artists as well,” Constable concluded, suggesting that, in some ways, he does consider himself a jazz painter.

“That’s actually a good description of what I’m doing. Jazz painting. It’s abstract music and I’m painting abstract work. I find that it just goes really well with my mental state. You get into channeling and the rhythms and before you know it, the music’s over and your painting’s half done.”

This is Constable’s second solo show at the same venue, with the first being in September 2012. Art lovers will see him again for a new VASA show that will start in the middle of June. He’ll also have a Goop of Seven group show in August. This is a group of 11 painters, not seven, who like to use goopy amounts of paint, he explained.


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