Photographer based in Balitmore, MD
Torrance Hall, Portrait of the Photographer
Construction of the Exterior, 2017
Tell us about yourself, what's your background?
I always knew that i wanted to be an artist of some sort. I grew up in a suburb outside of Richmond, Virginia where I spent a lot of my time reading science-fiction and playing in my schools’ ensemble. I was always interested in world building and creating fictitious tales that melted and weaved into the bleak, monotony of my predominately white suburb. Creating alter egos and reading of “non-human” lifeforms and space travel helped me cope with the otherness I felt on a daily basis. It was when I picked my parents’ camera and discovered the art of the self-portrait that I truly began to find my voice and reconstruct the world around me.
Stretch, 2019. Digital Photograph (Self Portraiture)
"I do a lot of reading and writing. It's also important for me (now more then ever) to go outside and just observe and listen. Paying attention to the systems and sounds that exist outside of my everyday routine not only fuel my inspiration but also aid me spiritually and mentally."
What are you currently working on and where did the inspiration for it come from?
I just recently started my senior year of college so a lot of my focus has been on my thesis. I am planning to create a body of work that realigns my relationship with the inanimate and attempts to find harmony between humans, nature and technology.
The idea came to me from an article that I found in 2019 about a 42,000-year-old foal found in permafrost that scientist plan to clone. I was fascinated with the story and it has been stuck with me ever since.
Oil, 2019. Digital Photograph (Self Portraiture)
Innovation does not only happen in the field of technology — it occurs everyday in an artist's practice. What do you do for inspiration?
I do a lot of reading and writing. It's also important for me (now more then ever) to go outside and just observe and listen. Paying attention to the systems and sounds that exist outside of my everyday routine not only fuel my inspiration but also aid me spiritually and mentally.
Bursting out of my personal anthropocentric bubble and remembering the much larger network that I participate in on a daily basis has become vital to my artistic practice.
Sketch for upcoming image
Where do ideas start for you? In the studio or being in the world?
I would say its a bit of both. I usually look to the outside world for ideas but sometimes just getting in the studio (wherever that may be) and allowing everything to pour out naturally front the camera does the trick. But wherever I am the process tends to be very personal and meditative.
Test print for Oil,2019
How do you make your work? Where do you start and how does the process evolve?
I’d be lying if I said it was the same every time. Sometimes it starts with a sketch, other times its an obsession with a sound or word that burns a clear image or texture in my head.
Having a “style” wasn’t really something I thought about until I began sharing my work online for the first time. The idea of finding a distinctive style suddenly consumed me and changed the way I worked - hindering me creatively. Eventually, in 2014 I discovered the “365 day project” and began shooting a new photograph every day for a year. Through those photographs I really figured out what I was interested in and what colors, textures and themes I was naturally attracted to.
Many artists live by their creative routines, do you have your own studio ritual? What does that look like for you?
When i’m out shooting self-portraits It’s really important for me to feel calm and for my mind to be completely clear. I tend to close my eyes and meditate right before, allowing myself to get into character. When I start shooting I try to keep things very fluid and it’s almost dancer-like. I also like to imagine any nerves or anxiety I might have escaping down though my arms and flowing out of my finger tips - It really helps with staying focused.
Right Where You Left Me, 2018
Who are your biggest influences?
Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Nick Knight, Alexander McQueen, my Grandmother.
Are there books or films that are an important source of inspiration?
Babel-17, Spell of the Sensuous, Flatline Constructs, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Tetsuo: The Iron Man
How will Innovate Grant contribute to your practice?
This funding will go towards my senior thesis project and allow me to further pursue my experimentations with sound and video.
Meet Me in The Center, 2019. Digital Photograph (Self Portraiture)
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Try not to put yourself in a box. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
What is the best advice you would give to other artists?
Spend time with yourself. Learn what you truly love and yearn for. Take time to learn about your habits, fears and desires, but also understand that these things are not always fixed and could be subject to change.
View Torrance Hall's Portfolio
Stay up to date with Torrance Hall