Better known as a sculptor, Hall has been engaged in the making of drawings throughout his career and this selection that spans 30 years shows how his drawings, even though born of the same impulses, have grown naturally and independently alongside his work as a sculptor.
The act of drawing is an important part of Hall’s practice. He makes plein air landscape studies that are often the trigger for new ideas. There are drawings that trace the development of ideas and there are precise working drawings that are part of the fabrication process all of which remain largely unseen. Then there are the drawings that exist in their own right; drawings that are very physical and expressive in charcoal with pencil and gouache.
Drawings that Hall says “...are not preliminary drawings for sculpture but a related exploration freed from many of the laws of physics that a sculpture must obey. They are close to my heart. “Drawing is seeing, thinking, finding, recording, connecting, stilling and distilling.” They make statements and images that are unachievable in any other medium. The earliest work in the exhibition is from the 1980s and illustrates Hall’s passion for the elegance of the line and the rigours of geometry. Colour is absent. Dense, luscious, velvety charcoal is the medium. With the passage of time strong flat colour is introduced and the geometry gets less austere: the curved line, the circle and the ellipse, that most fundamental of all shapes in nature that holds our planets together, appear. But throughout there is a preoccupation with precision, with light and shadow, balance, stillness, spatial interval and the way that geometric forms glide together and create space and movement.
This exhibition offers a glimpse into Hall’s passion for refined geometric forms; forms whose origins spring from his observations of the natural world. From early in his career the experience of walking and driving through landscapes around the world have inspired a search for the governing principles of how we experience the world, formally and spiritually, and how to express this in its most refined way with clarity, order and calm.