‘Eternal Youth’ showcases bold snapshots of contemporary identity. Striking portraits depict the contrasts and similarities of the young and old at opposite ends of adulthood, focusing on themes of self-reflection and self-consciousness. At once delicate and undoubtedly fierce, Hall’s evocative images confront viewers with raw power and emotion, as well as a distinctly contemporary urban feel.
In many ways, the series explores forms of intimacy and vulnerability, from the delicacy of two young lovers bathing to the poignancy of an older woman looking at herself in the mirror. Joy and beauty radiate alongside a sense of sadness, caught in the full-hearted smile of an older woman gazing out her window or the complicit stare of two teens smoking a cigarette. Younger and older subjects alike share hints of youthful rebelliousness and changing self-awareness.
Dan Hall comments, “I discovered that they have different beauties but share similar feelings of isolation and loneliness.”
Each frame tells a life story. Photographs of everyday domestic life are rich in detail and colour, from modish chequered tiles to vintage china patterns. Cropped frames and original angles show a particular focus on hands, suggestive of a desire for human connection.
Often, windows and mirrored reflections create a multiplicity of frames within each shot, enacting a shared sense of disconnect. Inviting viewers to look beyond the readily available, the series expresses the desire to search for common ground even in seemingly unlikely places.
Echoing the thematic emphasis on touch, the series is all shot on 35mm film. Hall comments,
“In a digital age when everyone is recording and documenting every instance. I prefer the more tactile experience of shooting analogue. It forces me to slow down and look harder because each frame counts. This allows me to connect more intimately with the subject. Nowadays everyone looks at photos on a screen, it’s important to look at art in print on the wall to gather a proper sense of the depth and emotion in the work.”
Profits from prints and an accompanying photo-book will be in aid of Young Minds and Age UK.
The exhibition is sponsored by Hahnemühle and Metro Imaging.