About Malcolm Halsall
“Like a pure rhapsody of strength and excitement, harmonising, light into reflective shape as the light becomes crystallised in a luminous flux of warm energy. A fusion of erratic shapes with no rhyme or reason, it just is. Shining triumphantly from the sky and into mirrors. No beginning and no end just whole and alive.”
I developed a very strong passion in my early twenties for the Arts which led me to do a body of self-taught work. Comprised of various mediums. Such as pencil, oil pastels, paints, and even tin foil. In the 90’s oil pastel was my main medium and produced a good body of work leading to my first exhibition.
Alongside this, I worked as a landscape gardener while doing various college courses such as Counselling, Psychology, and sociology. This wonderful world of self-taught creativity led myself to Portsmouth to gain a degree in Fine Art where I stayed in the south for fifteen years working as an Artist with a total of forty exhibitions. Curator/founder of The Mountbatten Gallery in Portsmouth and by then a qualified Art Teacher.
However it wasn’t till after my degree and visiting the midlands one time and in particular Milford (Cannock Chase), I was sitting in the car when I saw a row of cub scouts. They were climbing up one of the public path stiles and I saw all of this through the wing mirror of my car. Without thinking took a photograph thinking it would make a good interesting photo. That’s where mirror photography began for me. Which followed a whole set of wing mirror photography. Next was an old round motorbike mirror found in any artist treasure trove back then “a local skip”. This gave sudden freedom and I no longer had to rely on simply going only to where I could drive. On foot, I could take that old round motorbike mirror into any environment.
After a while, I started to start to cut and shape mirrors as I experimented more and more with the shapes and texture of the mirror, pushing the boundaries of what can be done. With scratches or single images, even writing quotes were taken from my first novel onto the glass surface. Leading to a whole series of shape and sizes of handheld mirrors. With every shape and every environment providing exciting and unique results.
I find the mirror images I produce always have that element of mystery to it, so much so I wanted to expand on this and have created a fictional historic side to it. While at the same time merging another passion of mine; my ongoing research of the full history of a place in the midlands called Ranton Abbey. I have known Ranton Abbey since I was a child when I used to sneak into this big ball of ivy finding a ruined Georgian house within. I have found myself drifting into the Artistic landscape of both the historic and the reflective worlds. This was one of the most important factors in my life and it saved me when my world fell apart!
You have to a choice in life when things go wrong; wallow in it, or you have to get up and get over yourself somehow. What happened simply happened and in my case, my entire life burnt and crashed into the world of pain loss resulting in a stroke. This was caused by a long drawn out senseless divorce which led me to lose my two boys. After that I was housebound for a while struggling to get about for a while even getting out of bed to make a coffee was a struggle in those days, but that world I talked about never left me, nothing else in my life made sense and so I had to find something that did.
Everything I do now really is simply based upon hope. I hope to see my boys one day, all of my mirror photography and the writing, everything I do is for my boys who may or may not know this yet for some years to come.
Now moved back to the midlands I find the locality of Ranton Abbey and the better-suited climate of the weather along with the Chase of course fuels both even more so my mirror photography and my writing. I can’t think of one without the other nowadays, and always on the lookout for places to inspire even more.