Originally Posted on January 17th 2014
The power of nature is a central part of the philosophy behind David’s work, through each of his images we are reminded of the tenuous relationship between man and the environment that has spanned thousands of years.
Alongside many solo and group shows, David has showcased his work in his own self-made gallery, ‘One2Fifty’ – ‘The World’s Smallest Gallery’. Here, miniature (5cm) figurines gaze upon David’s scaled-down images, allowing his online audience to see the scale, size and impact of his works.
We caught up with David to discuss his large-scale work, small-scale gallery, his practice and his Kickstarter campaign to fund artwork for the new St. Wilfrid’s Hospice in East Sussex…
Genesisimaging: Hi David! Are you ready to talk about you large-scale work, small-scale gallery, Kickstarter campaign and your practice?
Senezio (David Hall): Yes, I’m standing by…
Genesisimaging: Perfect! Let’s start with your current Kickstarter campaign…
Genesisimaging: …Tell us why you think it is so important for work to be included in public spaces and medical facilities?
Senezio (David Hall): Oh you’ll start me ranting now! These buildings cost £10M+ and they are delivered unfinished in my opinion.
Senezio (David Hall): Retrofitting art is unnecessarily expensive!
Senezio (David Hall): If architects and planners collaborated with artists at design stage then £1,000s could be saved and much more could be achieved.
Senezio (David Hall): That aside, I want to make medical facilities more appealing for patients to visit and for family and friends to visit their sick loved ones.
Senezio (David Hall): And to make medical facilities more relaxing for staff, so they can have pride in their environment, not just their equipment!
Genesisimaging: Tell us what made you decide specifically to create and donate work for Marie Curie and St. Wilfrid’s hospices?
Senezio (David Hall): I believe that environment is an important factor in recovery, Art should be included in best practice alongside the clinical needs of patients.
Senezio (David Hall): As Florence Nightingale said, “Variety of form and brilliancy of colour in the objects presented to patients, and are actual means of recovery”.
Genesisimaging: Great, tell us – where did your interest in providing art for these spaces begin?
Senezio (David Hall): Well I like to make big pictures, but I started donating work to help charity back in 2009.
Senezio (David Hall): As my work grew these opportunities presented themselves to me and I jumped at the chance.
Senezio (David Hall): Healthcare shouldn’t be just about clinical treatment whose aim is to keep patients alive – quality and standard of life is also important!
Senezio (David Hall): I have personal experience of visiting loved ones and that informs a lot of what I do.
Genesisimaging: Where did your interest in photography begin?
Senezio (David Hall): Age 13, thanks to a student teacher at school who was a keen photographer. I had access to a darkroom via youth clubs etc.
Senezio (David Hall): I was totally hooked on the magic of photographic processing and I saw the camera as a way to look at the world around me.
Genesisimaging: Tell us about the biggest single change in your practice in the time since you began working as a photographer?
Senezio (David Hall): Wow, I guess back in 2000, when I decided not to work commissioned again. I felt there was a growing disrespect for photographers.
Senezio (David Hall): I wanted to make a stand by not giving these clients the privilege of working with me.
Senezio (David Hall): I had also lost touch with why I loved photography in the first place and in order to have any chance of rekindling my passion…
Senezio (David Hall): …I knew that I had to take money out of the equation.
Genesisimaging: Talking more specifically about your work, do you consider the final scale, size, shape and finish of your work when you’re shooting?
Senezio (David Hall): I consider how much it’s going to cost me
Senezio (David Hall): The way I work on location is all about taking my time… Returning often, planning and preparing. The slower and more considered I can be, the better.
Senezio (David Hall): The simple answer is yes, I deliberately look for locations that allow me to shoot big.
Genesisimaging: Bob asks, are arboreal subjects your main interest or are there others equally as demanding on your time?
Senezio (David Hall): I do shoot landscapes but when I started shooting woods I was the only one doing it and I felt comfortable in the woods.
Senezio (David Hall): I see a lot of symbolism with man and trees, society and forests. What trees give to the planet…
Senezio (David Hall): …and what man takes from the planet. Trees are without dogma, they are universal and had the planet to themselves 60 million years before the dinosaurs.
Senezio (David Hall): I see them as time travellers who can teach us…
Senezio (David Hall): There was a time that landscape shooters just used a tree to frame a shot, now the tree is the shot.
Genesisimaging: Olivia asks, how do you decide how to print/finish your work to best showcase the lighting and colour of the natural world?
Senezio (David Hall): Well, I rarely do traditional framed prints, because I was doing something different, I wanted the finish to be different.
Senezio (David Hall): Back in the mid-naughties, aluminium was popping up and face mounting added to that with its clean crisp lines.
Senezio (David Hall): I love the drop shadow it gives once hung. It’s robust and adds a 3D feel to my finished work.
Senezio (David Hall): It also has an intrinsic value and feel – built to last a very long time.
Senezio (David Hall): It’s important to me that I’m not just creating work for now, but for future generations. In some cases the work is rated for up to 170 years.
Genesisimaging: Let’s talk about ‘One2Fifty’ – tell us about The World’s Smallest Gallery.
Senezio (David Hall): As an artist I try to engage with the largest possible audience, I am lucky that I have exhibited in galleries in many countries…
Senezio (David Hall): …But trying to show my work online was always very difficult. Everyone has Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but I could not show the scale of the work on these platforms.
Senezio (David Hall): It was the advent of smart phones in ’09 that gave me the idea to use architectural scale models.
Senezio (David Hall): Initially I built an actual gallery, filled it with my pics and figures, then shot cameos of the figures…
Senezio (David Hall): Some close up’s…
Senezio (David Hall): I even added GOD!
Genesisimaging: What made you decide to showcase ‘One2Fifty’ alongside your large scale work at 60 Threadneedle Street?
Senezio (David Hall): For my vision to be realised, I thought it was appropriate I should place the gallery in the show.
Genesisimaging: Last question… What can we expect from you next?
Senezio (David Hall): Oh, I think a nice cup of tea!
Senezio (David Hall): I have a few new things on the burner, however finding time is the problem – especially as I’ve been so busy with shows and hospices.
Senezio (David Hall): I hope to take a bit of downtime this year to get really stuck in to some new work…
Senezio (David Hall): …It’s likely to be a lot smaller than the current show, but bigger than the ‘World’s Smallest Gallery’. It will probably be 2015 before I’m ready to showcase it.
Senezio (David Hall): Thank you Genesis – for all of your support over the years – it’s a pleasure to work with you guys.
Senezio (David Hall): And I couldn’t have achieved half of what I have done without your expertise, knowledge and help.
Genesisimaging: Our pleasure – thanks for working with us over the years! Unfortunately that’s all we’ve got time for… It’s been great, David!
Catch David’s current solo show until the 21st January at 60 Threadneedle Street, City of London, EC2R 8HP.