by Christopher Hall RBA
Hall’s paintings are inextricably linked to the place they are painted in. Painting everyday scenes in everywhere from the South of France and London to small and quiet Welsh villages, Hall’s paintings immediately capture a sense of place. A feeling of culture, atmosphere and quiet contemplation of an area are present in his pictures. They seem to visualise the very act of watching, the pause as we, whether it be on holiday or walking to work, stop and take in scenes of other people doing other things. In Napoli Hall captures the immediacy of the overbearing narrow streets of Southern Italy, where buildings seem to grow out of one another, separated only by tiny crevices of shadowy streets. The buildings in the painting’s foreground sum this up perfectly, barely visible as they are cast into shadowy darkness. The streams of bright hot heat from the sky then illustrate the warmth and brilliance of the Mediterranean sun, bouncing off stone and sunning the washing strung up between the buildings. As we peer into this world, Hall creates the busyness of activity above our heads in his stringing of washing and lamps across the canvas, very much inviting us into this window of Italy. The texture of the sky powdered with cloud is mirrored in the mottled white stone of the buildings, showing a city that reflects the very weather that encompasses it — here paint seeks to absorb environment.