Depth of Field is the photographic term used to describe the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear sharp in an image. Van Halm works with a range of dislocated backgrounds, either in or out of focus, removed from their original contexts. In this way she upsets the accepted hierarchy of foreground to background.
Van Halm culls disembodied bits of backgrounds from décor and fashion magazines and replaces the large resultant voids with expanses of pure colour, mimicking the hues of origami paper. These background fragments combined in irregular geometries – curves and angles – build a tension between figuration and abstraction that disrupts the conventional figure/ground, subject/object relationships. The resultant paintings represent a subtle shift, a translation, from the printed images and the bodies of colour, to marks and fields rendered in paint.
There is a familiarity in these paintings that comes in part from their source in recognizable imagery – a blurry landscape, an interior detail, a cropped leg of a chair, a shadow of an invisible object – the overlooked aspects of the highly constructed presentation of our material culture.