I went to see Ed Hall's On the March Exhibit at the People's History Museum recently for a new brief regarding protest and campaign banners. I was surprised by the sheer amount of work he has produced - over 500 banners since the early 1980s that have been used in many, many different campaigns and marches ranging from Trade Union and Death in Custody Protests to various art related and Society banners.
The booklet contains a fitting quote by Jeremy Deller;
'Ed Hall is probably one of the best known artists in Britain in one way,
but people would not know who he was,
because what he does is basically anonymous.'
I'd never heard of him previously but I'm sure I and many others have glimpsed one of his pieces on the streets or News during a protest or campaign. I find his way of working interesting as it's similar to my preferences in the sense of combining paint and pencil with fabric and sewing techniques to create an image.
Ed Hall combines satiny fabrics with block cottons to help them stand out amongst the crowd, he experiments with the font sizes and positioning to create the most impact.
I found it interesting that some banners made use of bias binding to outline the blocks of colour and how on some he had sewn round the entire letter of each word while on others they were just applied with fabric glue.
Some used a careful sewing technique while others the sewing haphazard and simply there to keep the fabric in place.
You could also see the pencil marks on some of the more painted than fabric orientated banners.