LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW
Photographer Dan Hall
LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW
by Beren Dere
'Eternal Youth' presents portraits of young and old subjects, revealing forms of intimacy and vulnerability, as well as strength and playfulness. There is a nostalgic element to the whole thing. In part, this shows through Hall's decision to shoot the series on 35mm film. Moving away from the digital age we live in, his pieces hark back to a more reflective and meditative experience of art and identity. 'Eternal Youth' will be exhibited at JM Gallery in London from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 March 2020. I talked to Photographer Dan Hall about the Eternal Youth exhibition.
Dan, you define yourself very simply as 'I'm 17 and I like taking photos', however, each photo you take contains intense stories. What inspired you to become a photographer?
It is a cliché to say that ever since I was little, I loved taking photographs, but it is the truth. I was inspired by my father, who liked taking photographs and taught me how to use a camera. I am fascinated with the idea that a photograph can show and conceal so much of the subject's character.
Could you tell us about the concept of the 'Eternal Youth' exhibition?
Eternal Youth depicts the contrasts and similarities between the young and the elderly, both groups are approaching and ending adulthood and experiencing things for the first and last time. It focuses on themes of self-consciousness and self-reflection in a selfie era.
Who are your subjects? Did you learn anything new about them during the process?
All the subjects in the series are people close to me; my friends and family. I chose to photograph these people because I have a closer connection with them, and this allowed me to delve deeper into their vulnerability.
As a 17-year-old photographer, why did you use 35mm film when everything is digital?
We live in a digital age, and I find that shooting on analogue is a more tactile experience where I slow down and focus more on the subject and composition of an image as each frame counts.
You will use the profit from books and prints for good causes, could you tell us about the details?
I decided to choose Young Minds and Age UK because these are two charities that support mental health in the young and elderly, which are ages I have chosen to work with. I believe that there is now more discussion surrounding mental health, but young people now have to deal with the negative impact of social media. I think the older generation is often forgotten about, and because they grew up in a time where mental health issues were not as openly spoken about they have trouble with asking for help.
Where and when will the 'Eternal Youth' be on display?
'Eternal Youth' will be on display at JM Gallery, 230 Portobello Road, London, W11 1LJ from Friday 6th March until Sunday 8th March, Open 10am-6pm
What do you think about social media? How can our readers follow you?
I think that social media can have negative impacts on mental health from body image to self-validation through likes and followers. However, without it, I would have not been able to fundraise this exhibition or receive work opportunities, so I have mixed feelings about it, and I too am guilty of using Instagram too much (@dopdan).
What is next for you?
I am currently working on a new project, which shall be revealed...soon...
Thank you Dan for your time.