Ford Hallam holds a unique position in the world of fine art metalwork. He is the only non-native artist to have been adopted into Japan’s ancient decorative metalworking tradition. Having dedicated himself to the mastery of its techniques and materials he is widely acknowledged as the leading Western authority on the technical aspects of this work.
From his earliest encounters with Japanese art he has felt a strong resonance with his own aesthetic sensibilities. This has provided him with a framework within which to develop his personal language of “metal as art”.
He now divides his creative efforts between contemporary expressions in classical Japanese formats and a freer exploration of the more abstract possibilities inherent in this medium.
I find myself in a uniquely privileged position with reference to the Classical Japanese tradition. Having become part of this continuum I have a responsibility to represent an accurate picture of what that constitutes. At the same time I am developing my own creative “voice” from within the context of a tradition that is more than 1000 years old. The tension between these very different positions demands a continual process of re-evaluation, with each continually informing my understanding and expression of the other.
I take as inspiration the, almost organic, subtle surface textures and forms that my working processes yield. Any representational aspects of my work are in fact chosen, not so much for any symbolic or narrative value but rather to allow me to further explore a more delicate combination of form, colour and material. Any “life” I am able to impart to my creations comes about through this intimate exploration of the medium and a devotion to the processes I employ.