Image: Ed Hall, British Council Collection Banner (Contemporary Art Version), 2012 © Ed Hall
Ed Hall was born in 1944 in Norwich, England. He studied at the University of Sheffield and is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Hall trained as an architect, rather than an artist, and worked in both Liverpool and London at the outset of his career. In the early 1980s, amidst major political changes, he became an active member of UNISON, the trade union, and began colourful making banners for their various marches and campaigns, utilising the drawing skills gained through his architectural training. In 1999, while setting up a UNISON stall in London, Hall met the artist Jeremy Deller and they began an ongoing artistic collaboration in which Hall has contributed brightly coloured banners to many of Deller’s exhibitions over the last 14 years. These include Deller’s Turner Prize-winning exhibition in 2004, the Folk Archive (2005), which was co-curated with Alan Kane and most recently English Magic (2013), in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In 2011 Hall presented his first solo exhibition of banners at the People’s History Museum, Manchester.
In May 2012, the British Council Collection commissioned Hall to create two banners celebrating the works in the collection, past and present. The first depicts many of the ‘classic’ works in the collection by artists such as Eduardo Paolozzi, Euan Uglow, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. The second showcases the more contemporary side of the collection, and features works by Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor and Sarah Lucas. The banners also feature the eponymous blue cases, in which all works from the British Council Collection travel.