Thompson Hall in conversation with Dr. Mark Sealy
Open House, 10 December 2021
Hall’s intricate, large–scale paintings and drawings respond to the artist’s experiences, art history and his life in London. His recent work has shifted to explore inequalities in society, politics, the impact of Covid, social change, and his own personal history. Hall has recently been mentored by Sealy as part of Autograph and Shape Arts’ Transforming Leadership programme. They discussed the artist’s work, intentions and forthcoming residency at Autograph, from March 2022.
- About Thompson Hall
Thompson Hall is a London–based artist. Primarily working with acrylic paint and pastel drawings, Hall’s often colourful palette takes inspiration from artists including Chris Ofili and Frank Auerbach. Through abstracted symbols and text, Hall’s work explores the inequalities of society and the world around him, in regards to politics, social change, marginalisation and, most recently, the impact that Covid–19 is having on our society.
Hall was awarded an Emerging Artist commission and a Micro Grant from Unlimited in 2017 and 2020 respectively. He has exhibited in group shows across the UK and has had solo exhibitions at Regency Town House in Hove, Brighton Dome, and Project Ability, Glasgow. Hall is a resident artist at ActionSpace’s Cockpit Arts Studio.
- About Dr Mark Sealy
Dr Mark Sealy is interested in the relationships between photography and social change, identity politics, race, and human rights. He has been director of London–based photographic arts institution Autograph ABP since 1991. He has produced numerous artist publications, curated exhibitions, and commissioned photographers and filmmakers worldwide, including the critically acclaimed exhibition Human Rights Human Wrongs at Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto in 2013 and at The Photographers’ Gallery, London in 2015.
Sealy has written for many international photography publications, including Foam Magazine, Aperture and the Independent Newspaper in London. He has written numerous essays for theoretical publications and artist monographs. In 2002, Sealy and professor Stuart Hall co–authored Different, which focused on photography and identity politics.
Notable projects include the exhibition Self Evident at Ikon Gallery Birmingham, The Unfinished Conversation: Encoding / Decoding for the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto and critically acclaimed exhibitions on the works of James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks, Carrie Mae Weems, Rotimi Fani–Kayode, Mahtab Hussain, Maud Sulter and Sunil Gupta. He was guest curator for Houston Fotofest 2020 working under the title of African Cosmologies Photography Time and the Other.
Sealy’s critically acclaimed book, Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time, was published in 2019 by Lawrence and Wishart. His PhD was awarded by Durham University England and focused on Photography and Cultural Violence and he is Principal Research Fellow at UAL London College of Communication and Professor Designate 2022.