MATTHEW HALL

I am interested in narrative. Specifically, what we infer with limited amounts of information available to discern what transpired. I choose small moments—which I have observed—and then combine them to create a narrative flow. My selections are that of the flaneur—the detached observer—carefully selecting moments that string together the experience of a space from within.

Drawing and writing both operate as visible language in my work. Neither offers perfect communication, nor the ability to recreate reality in its entirety. Both offer different paths and implications to meaning. Using text and images in the same space entangles our experience of interacting with both.

My gestural drawings capture aspects of experience instead of a naturalistic rendering. They reinterpret the experience both as I see it, and within my use of the image as a visual narrative element. This style of drawing, that interprets experience as fleeting in nature, creates an expression from small highlights. These vignettes demonstrate idiosyncratic moments, rather than describe all the details of the experience. I find value in moments of pause or loneliness, e.g. someone searching for their keys, standing in line, waiting for a friend to arrive, or even stumbling for a word.

Each narrative I create builds around the viewer’s ability to bring their own world to the work, apply their own understandings, and take the narrative into their own world as they do. I present images, and vignettes of moments, compiling several moments into a narrative. The viewer’s understanding of my work comes through their own life story, and different elements resonate for their own reasons.

These understandings build slowly upon each other. The contrast between drawings that happen quickly and ideas that build slowly become important to the viewing of my work. The restrictions to the visual space in my work, whether by cropping or by gestural representation, initiate the process of discovery by asking the viewer to participate by translating the marks into familiar visual space. The transitions between visual elements, gradual and abrupt, suggest a narrative. The display of a series in ways that ask a viewer to move through those visual transitions without seeing the whole space at once reinforces a slowly generated meaning in my work.

Visit the Artist's website