5 Minutes with Sonny Hall

this butterfly we tried to anaesthetize
5 Minute with Sonny Hall

Poet, artist, high profile model and AucArt’s guest curator of the month, Sonny Hall, talks to us about his upbringing, overcoming addiction and what keeps him inspired.

Tell us a little bit about your upbringing

I was born in Essex and then moved to Wandsworth in South West London after being adopted at the age of 4. My upbringing was lovely from this point onwards. 

But the general course of it has always been threatened by what occurred prior to the age of 4. So as i have grown year by year, it has been a mission to gather an understanding of how that has made me and with that, using it to produce honest work.

How has your upbringing impacted your work?

My life experience is my work. I’ve had to use my writing and painting as a relevant propeller to allow me to live freely and honestly. 

It’s my antidote out of pure necessity.

Most inspiring person you’ve ever met?

John Pearse.

One thing you cannot write/work without?

An impulse fuelled by some kind of crisis or need for understanding.

Most impactful experience you’ve had?

Laaaa deeeee daaaaaa. 

Tell us one thing few people know about you?

I have a twin brother. 

And he is a champion.

What draws you to an artist?

When they want to communicate in a proper way. 

Proper, being; honest and unapologetic. 

I want to feel and see why they are taking action in offering a gesture of expression ……. Desperation, really and truly.

What projects have been the most important for you thus far? What have been some key moments in your development as an artist and a thinker?

The start of my development was probably the moment I was able to hand myself the truth. This being 4 years ago, after I left a long rehab stint in Thailand. And for the first time I really allowed myself to see myself existing in the world as a human being, not in survival mode and finally completely present for the crucial moments and feelings that give urgency to my development. I started writing poems everyday, gathering further understanding and treating the good and the bad as symbolic deeds that I have to utilise in order to make sense of it all. After 2 years of writing, the obsession paid off and I had a huge body of work that defined my growth and my new found veracity with the world. I decided to put a book out, which was a collection of poems. Named – The Blues Comes With Good News. 

By doing this, I was able to really learn how to manoeuvre within a natural and truthful process, which was creating something I would hope to become timeless and meaningful. Now, I use that as my backbone for creating whatever it may be. All the best things I have made, written or given life to, have always come around when it has made sense and really only out of desperation to express the parts of me that cannot be left to mingle.

Do you have a favourite place you go to for inspiration?

Wherever deluded individuals are not.

Where do you usually write? 

My living room.

What future projects are you working on or hoping to explore?

Right now, I am collaborating with Nick Knight on my new poetry book which will be a photo book also. Which I cannot wait to show the world …

Also I am putting together a short film with a dear friend of mine, that is, Jim Longden… Which I am acting in…Which I could deem to be a scary endeavour, yet also extremely inspiring…As I have a lot to learn…

What have you learnt during lockdown?

To not give myself to the madness. 

It’s never as glamorous as it seems to be.

Is there an alternative underlying narrative that has occurred in your selection of artists and works – if so what is it?

The underlying narrative is similar to the tone in which I described my process. 

The selection of artists I have chosen are all people I appreciate in their character as well as their works. I feel as if there is a parallel with each artist, in how their work complements their character and vice versa. This is important to me because it outlines a truthful act in the heart of their output. 

The show is all about truth and where truth comes from, the need to harbour it correctly and the ways to go about doing so. It is a boundless expedition for each and every human. And with this I find connecting to each other on this basis is the utmost important way to go. Yet action has to be made to arrive at this ultimatum. But in my eyes I could never establish this practice, if you like, to be entirely and ultimately ultimate, ever. It is a constant back and forth, between finding truth, owning it and showing it. The bottom line is communication and I thought by choosing these artists it would bring about the perfect mixture of declarations and confessions of real feelings, that can be communicated in whatever way the artist chooses to, truthful to each individual. 

What does truth mean to you?

The unapologetic action of knowing then owning what is found to be nakedly honest about the sparking of an emotion or an occurrence, or both. Then knowing what is underneath all of that. I think to know what is at the very spirit of these things, is knowing where and what truth is.


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