The Passage of Time: Art by Graham Hall

An artwork consisting of a repeating coloured pattern1 May, 2020, gouache and pencil on papier d'Arches

Graham Hall is an Quebec-based artist who works in representational drawing as well as abstraction and performance. Graham’s recent works have used repeating geometric patterns to express the passage of time under the monotony of quarantine. 

An abstract artwork consisting of a repeated orange and red pattern30 May, 2020, gouache and pencil on papier d'Arches


I really enjoy Graham’s series of works from 2020. These pieces were mostly produced during the spring and summer of 2020, when much of Canada was in full lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. The works are each titled simply with a date and comprise a piece of Arches watercolour paper covered with coloured geometric patterning. The patterns utilize a colour gradient that encourages the viewer to look closer, to find the point at which the colours change, and in this way each shape in the pattern is treated like a moment. The colours between shapes are unchanging, moment to moment, but over time a blue hue turns gradually darker, or an orange turns to red. 


Other works by Graham are more complex, with shapes that face each other to create a kind of tiled pattern, made up of different coloured shapes. These pieces seem to issue a challenge to the viewer, to discover the logic of the pattern itself.

An abstract artwork with intersecting lines and coloursAttractor Two, acrylic on canvas

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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