Artist Thompson Hall. Photograph: courtesy Autograph

Much-loved Shoreditch gallery Autograph has announced Thompson Hall as its first ever artist-in-residence.

The residency will take place from January to March 2022 at Autograph’s Rivington Place site, supported by non-profit organisation ActionSpace.

Hall was selected to support the development of his creative practice; over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, the artist created large-scale acrylic paintings and pastel drawings to explore his everyday experiences.

Hall said: “I’m looking forward to the residency because it gives me a chance to have time to express myself.”

The three-month residency has been described as an ‘open-ended opportunity’, with no expected outcome of Hall’s work; rather, the artist will be given the opportunity to let the work be guided by his own artistic vision.

Hall’s patterned compositions are characterised by their use of vibrant colour, which has been described as ‘spontaneous’ and is guided by the emotions that the artist wishes to invoke.

His most recent work is inspired by the social change, inequality, marginalisation, and the impact that Covid and the resulting lockdowns have had on his immediate surroundings, as well as the wider political landscape.

“When I use colour, the tonal light reflects tone or mood within within the painting for people to look at,” Hall said.

“[I try to] create a feeling or an emotion and get people thinking about what the subjects [I’m focused on] are.

“Even though the subjects can be horrible, I’m trying my best to brighten that.”

Hall will be provided with a private studio space, travel expenses, a fee to support the residency, budget for materials, production assistance, and access to Autograph’s collection of photography.

Dr Mark Sealy, director of Autograph, said: “Over the last year or so I have had the privilege of getting to know Thompson Hall and share thoughts with him.

“This has been a journey through both words and images. His work in our time is pressing and urgent and I am delighted to have him join us for this residency.”

This first on-side residency is a product of Autograph’s ongoing collaboration with Project Art Works on the EXPLORERS project; this nationwide creative programme looks to increase the visibility and representation of neurodivergent artists in the contemporary visual art world.

Autograph’s Transforming Leadership programme in collaboration with Shape Arts, which works to break down the barriers experienced by marginalised artists, also allowed for the gallery to launch this initial residency.

For more information about Autograph, visit autograph.org.uk.

To see examples of Thompson Hall’s work, head over to his page on ActionSpace here.

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