FERGUS HALL (b.1947)
Fantastic voyage c.1975
oil on board
15¾ x 18½ ins (40 x 47 cm)
Born in Paisley, Fergus Hall is a self-taught painter, illustrator and erstwhile high school teacher. His father was resident scenery painter at Paisley Theatre, and his mother was the all-Ireland set dance champion. He was named Fergus after the Scottish Colourist, J.D.Ferguson, a friend of his parents. He achieved and still enjoys cult status as the designer of the tarot card designs he created for the James Bond film Live and Let Die. (Salvador Dali had done the initial designs, but they were not considered suitable by the producers.) Hall’s deck, Tarot of the Witches, has been re-issued in several incarnations.
His own paintings, meticulously finished in eggshell, vere towards the idiosyncratic and fantastic. Curious grotesques abound: 6 legged horses, cats and dogs which would never find a home, witches, necromancers, alchemists, angels, tattooed ladies and astronomers – that sort of thing. He was introduced to London’s Portal Gallery in 1971 by fellow Paisley Buddy John Byrne (aka Patrick), and remained an exhibitor throughout the decade. His work has been used on LP sleeves for King Crimson, and in 1982 his children’s book Groundsel was published by Jonathan Cape. After a long break from art, during which time he dealt in antiques and folk art, Hall recently returned to oil painting. New works by the artist can be seen at www.fergushall.com.