Depth Of Field

Farm Residency, Normanton, Rutland (2008)

During a short residency at Normanton Farm, Rutland, I created a contemporary artwork specifically commissioned for the arena festival, Leicestershire.
Taking as a starting point, the county, it's history, the changing face or the rural idyll and the unexpected contradictions revealed, I interpreted the impressions into an intriguing moving image and sonic installation.

When commissioned to create this artwork I went to visit the site keeping an open mind, but expecting a rural idyll.  What I found was this ‘idyll’, but one, which on closer inspection revealed the industrialisation and militarization of the countryside.  The farm is flanked by a quarry, an artillery range, and a man made reservoir with pipes running underneath the it from Rutland Water all the way to Kettering. The tranquility is interrupted by the sound of gunshots, explosions and military aircraft low flying overhead.

On looking round the farm I became fascinated with the tube shaped air vents in the thick, stone walls of the buildings, which when looked through from the inside out became apertures, transforming the views into pinhole camera impressions of the landscape.    

These two differing experiences of the site, the sense of vulnerability, of being overwhelmed by the encroaching industries, and the cocooned safety of an idyll framing of the countryside provided me with a starting point to play around with themes of contradiction and depth of field.

Supported and commissioned by DOT for the Arena Festival.




“Tom hall, interesting and different. The well ordered rhythm of the farm came across. The moving images were great fun for all ages.”

“A great evening – I enjoyed being taken out of my comfort zone with regard to the art I know that I like! The write up about the “idyllic” situation of the farm being broken by the quarry, artillery range and pipes from Rutland water made me think! Enjoyed the idea of observing the farm through the pipes – different perspective.”

“Liked the use of space and interaction with the projection. Also a beautiful spree in itself.”

“Most unusual work – quite hypnotic, keeps you guessing. Would like to see more of this highly original artist.”

“Very interesting. A fresh look at the farm. Well done.”

"Unusual juxtapositions. A very interesting and commendable event.”

“Fascinating concepts and fresh insights into the neighbourhood.”

"Superb – great venue – art work illuminating,. Thank you!”

“Nice one Tom!!”

“Brilliant work. Brilliant venue. A great, great project.”

“Thought provoking and atmospheric. I like the juxtaposition between earthy and old things and modern technology.”

“The interactive display was fantastic – the kids were totally engrossed and loved jumping around in front of the camera. Loved the display space. My son said there was nothing he didn’t like.”

“Tom Hall’s work was very innovative.”

“Tom’s work made me make sounds like ‘ooh and wow’.”