James Hall is a Staffordshire-based photographer who has developed a photography practice over the past five years. His focus is contemporary narrative pictures inspired by Old Master paintings.
James who was born in Edinburgh was surrounded by Art from an early age as his father Douglas Hall was the first Keeper of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
One of his portraits was selected as a Portrait of Britain 2016 in a 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 for his work “Adoration of the Keepers” (after Rembrandt).
“My tools are photography and digital technology but I am a picture-maker, not a photographer. I believe the boundaries between painting and photographer have largely disappeared and I want to operate in the overlap.
The starting point for my photographs are paintings, sculptures and photographs that have appealed to me. These reference images are drawn from disparate sources from Renaissance masters to C20 and contemporary photography. The common theme of my reference images is that they reflect what might be described as 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, and 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”