Nick Hall’s new body of work explores our primordial urges in the present day. Through a deeply introspective and psychologically driven approach, Hall portrays the fractured nature of living in the 21st century – a time in which we have become increasingly divorced from the natural world, and separated from our most essential forms of existence. The artist's works not only capture our alienation from the environment, but also our fraught attempts to reconnect with it.
In Hall’s enigmatic series of paintings, nature finds expression within the heavily circumscribed architecture of humankind, as trees and wildlife occupy artificial geometric prisms. Here, the Australian wilderness has been packaged into a safely consumable parcel. “I think that we as a species reach towards the natural world, and in our own way try and keep it close to us,” Hall explains. “It’s a cognitive dissonance as we can’t quite bring these two worlds together – knowing that we need to be separate, yet wanting to be part of it.”
The idea of a rumpus room occupies nostalgic territory within our collective consciousness: it is a playroom; the place where you can just mess everything up, and the space where you can just be yourself. In Hall’s paintings, his nude protagonists have been liberated from the strictures of the everyday. Although their rumpus room may look a little different to the ones we know, it nonetheless affords them the same fundamental freedom.