James Hall is a Staffordshire-based photographer who has developed a photography practice over the past five years. His focus is contemporary narrative pictures which are inspired by Old Master paintings.
James was born in Edinburgh and was surrounded by art from an early age. His father, Douglas Hall, was the first Keeper of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
One of Hall’s portraits was selected as a Portrait of Britain 2016. This was the national competition organised by the British Journal of Photography and JC Decaux.
In February 2017 he was awarded 1st Prize at the Three Counties Open Photography Exbition held at Keele University. The winning piece was his “Adoration of the Keepers” (after Rembrandt).
“My tools are photography and digital technology. But I am a picture-maker, not a photographer. I believe that the boundaries between painting and photography have largely disappeared. I want to operate in the overlap.
The starting point for my work are paintings, sculptures and photographs that have appealed to me. These images are drawn from Renaissance masters to Twentieth Century and contemporary photography. The common theme of my reference images is that they reflect the classical tradition. Many of the images are rooted in stories which can be traced back to the ancient Greeks.
For me, the essence of the classical tradition is that it is humanist. It also reflects a core joy and optimism about humanity and nature. Whatever genre I am working in, my aim is to raise the spirits and celebrate the beauty of our world”