Image courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
With intricate precision and a poetic sensitivity, Fiona Hall crafts sculptural and two-dimensional forms that question our relationship with nature and society. Her combination of fine craft and sharp intellectualism create layered and fascinating narratives with a visual lyricism and real tactility. The span of her career over three decades has enchanted viewers with a combination of new and found materials with extensive research and reference to history: the museum; scientific discovery; Darwin; Victorian classification; taxidermy; botany; voyages of discovery; colonisation; antiquarian books and drawings. Fiona Hall takes these patterns and signifiers of a past world and transforms them into a contemporary language of incisive wit and playfulness.
Born in Sydney and currently based in Adelaide, Fiona Hall studied painting at the National Art School from 1972 to 1975 and photography at New York’s Visual Studies Workshop from 1979 to 1982. Known initially for her photography, by 1989, Hall was celebrated for her installation work such as Paradisus Terrestris entitled (1996).
Hall represented Australia with Wrong Way Time at the Australia Pavilion in the 56th Venice Biennale, 2015. In 2013, the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria held a major exhibition of Hall's work 'Big Game Hunting'. Important solo exhibitions for Hall include 'Fiona Hall, Force Field', Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2008 travelling to the City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand and Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand; 'Fiona Hall', Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane and Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2005 and 'Garden of Earthly Delights', National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth and Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane, 1994.
Important group exhibitions for Hall include 'Dark Heart, 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art', Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2014; 'Australia', Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2013; Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany, 2012; 'Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968-2002', National Gallery of Victoria, Federation Square, Melbourne, 2002; 'Australian Perspecta', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1995, 1991, 1985 and 1981.
Hall’s work is in the collections of all major Australian galleries, as well as numerous regional, corporate and private collections. She has also completed a number of important public commissions, including: Folly for Mrs Macquarie, Sydney Sculpture Walk, Botanic Gardens (2000); Fern Garden, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (1998); and Occupied Territory, commissioned for the opening of the Museum of Sydney (1995).
In 2005, Julie Ewington's monograph 'Fiona Hall' was published by Piper Press, Sydney. Hall is represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.