The Texture of Life
The art of Donna J Hall seeks to capture the imagination in vivid abstraction, while simultaneously capturing something of the defining feature of our human character. Her visual landscapes explore the marks left by elements eroding the surfaces and depths of our planet. The resulting patterns and textures are reflected in the archetypal symbols and motifs that appear in prehistoric art and artifacts. These forms are truly universal in nature and part of the visual language we use in defining our cultures, creating our myths and recreating our environment. By that token, it is easy to get lost in her paintings. Donna is actually driven to create by a complex interaction of ideas and events. She is inspired by the visual richness of the natural landscape, her love of travel and the revealing experience of other cultures. She sees these textured slices of history as a type of archaeological dig, even the graffiticovered walls of urban landscapes tell a story. Donna often begins her paintings with a complex surface of marks in acrylic and plaster, collaged papers and textured materials. She continues layering with more paint and plaster – scraping and masking the surface to reveal glimpses of other layers. The painting becomes a history of its own development. She sees her process paralleling the natural forces of time that build, erode and decay. Donna's hope is that the resulting paintings will be elusive, yet suggestive of the interaction between natural and man-made environments. Born in 1952 in North Bay, Ontario, her family moved to Ottawa in 1961, where she attended public school and blossomed in terms of artistic talent. The painting and drawing courses in high school helped solidify that, and in 1971 Donna moved to Toronto to attend the Ontario College of Art. After completing the two-year ground
left, Attending Chance, acrylic plaster on board, 36" x 48" above, Memory Lines, acrylic plaster on board, 54" x 48"