By Katy Cowan
Ontario-based artist Stev’nn Hall is someone who loves to mix up his mediums a little, bringing together photography and art to create immersive multimedia landscapes that pay homage to some of the world’s best impressionist paintings.
Born “in a scrap of a small town in rural Ontario where the road runs rough”, Stev’nn was raised by a “mother with a dash of wanderlust and a father with a shot of whiskey”. A graduate of film production at Montreal’s Concordia University in 1990, Stev’nn began his career as an award-winning television promo producer in Toronto before becoming a full-time artist.
His photo-based images are part of his effort to re-engage and revalue his early life experience, to travel old roads but in a different direction. Through looking back, he feels he can find his way forward. As a result, there’s a purposeful feeling of motion in his paintings, a cinematic unspooling of awareness. As he explains: “I take many of my photographs from moving vehicles – sometimes a train, sometimes a car. It’s part of the re-creation of my childhood experience of travelling in the backseat, staring out the window, driving along the backroads, past the fields and skies and neighbours’ houses. I like the feeling of movement in the work as though it was happening, as if the still photograph was still in play.”
The photos themselves feel magical and are bled through with the ambient light of 1970’s cheap photography. Stev’nn then roughs up the work with sharp brushstrokes and personal scratchings which connect the images to more private associations. The surface resin mimics the feel of looking at the world through an old car window, inviting us to take a closer look without ever feeling as though we’re seeing the whole picture.
Special thanks to Elliott Louis Gallery | Via Cross Connect Magazine