A “mushroom cloud” spotted by Mathew Hale (all images courtesy and by the artist)

Editor’s note: This is the 13th in a series of interviews with artists that will continue indefinitely, without direction, and outside any one person’s control. The artists are asked seven questions about their art and their ideas about art. The questions are blunt, but open-ended enough to be answered in any way the artist chooses. The final question is a request for the artist to select the next artist to be interviewed — anyone they wish, well-known or unknown, working in any medium, anywhere — any artist whose work they think highly of, an artist deserving the same public interrogation.

I make clear to each artist participating in this interview series that they are free to answer my seven questions in any way they like. Mathew Hale, selected by Susan Morris, has responded by making entirely new works as answers. When he told me he was doing this, of course I was enthusiastic — this seemed to be taking full advantage of the openness of the series. But he then went beyond my expectations to appropriate my questions within his answers. In this process, I believe Hale has expounded on, or exposed, key features of art making, just as much as he has taken us into the interiors of his own art. 

In choosing Hale for this interview, Morris said:

It’s possible that he, like Joyce, is a “fretter,” giving voice to unconscious thought. When I was a kid and got something wrong, my mum would always say, crossly, “You’re putting two and two together and making five!” Given that I myself was one of five children, I couldn’t help but think … well … that’s the kind of thing I mean about Hale’s work.

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HALE COMBINE (1,2,4,5,7)#0

Rob Colvin is the editor and publisher of Arts Magazine.