Jon Hall

Off-Cuts, 2016

forged steel
3 parts, 1200 x 200 x 200 mm each

Nearly every manufacturing practice produces excess material that falls away or breaks free from the intended form. These are discarded, reshaped or thrown away or re-sold as scrap. However, the importance of these fragments as historical record has long been known as they reveal secrets of the maker, tools, activity, context and use.

Off-Cuts captures the feeling of discarded and unwanted relics from the industry that influenced the development of Waiheke Island and New Zealand during European settlement and occupation. The three large billets forged of solid steel and piled in a seemingly random fashion appear as remnants of a bygone era. Off-Cuts fits into the landscape and its history, a reminder of past hands that worked and shaped the land. At the same time, the work speaks of its making, the sense of the extreme heat and intense power needed to distort solid steel.

Thanks to Rose Engineering and S.A.F.E Engineering for their support.

Jon Hall

born 1976, Carterton
Lives and works in Auckland

Jon Hall trained in the craft of blacksmithing, spending nine years travelling internationally studying this tradition and its relation as craft within the art world. Hall’s practice has been informed by an experience in England in his early 20s when he found the waste material forming and extruding during smithing was infinitely more beautiful and replete with information than the ‘finished’ work.

Hall’s sculptural practice reflects on our built surroundings, the historical importance of steel/metal throughout human history, and how this material reflects humanity’s striving for permanence. His work focuses on the effects of pressure, stored energy, and captured instances of intense heat and violent force. By allowing metals to react to pressure and force, rather than attempting to control them absolutely as traditional art or craft often dictates, Hall allows materials a role in the process.