The Loon

“who I am,
where I’m from,
where I’ve been,
what I’ve seen,
what I like.”

 

The Deadtime Collections are selected drawings, poems, and clothing made by or designed by Jeremy Hall since 2009. Hall has been a prisoner at various provincial and federal institutions in Ontario for the better part of a decade.

 

Hall’s artworks focus on thematic elements of a street life; images and placeholders for violence, fantastical women, risky behaviour, tattoos, and religion. Some of the artworks are renditions of familiar images, others are more personal. They are used autobiographically to construct a narrative of a previous life, one that winds between glorification and melancholic truth. His poetry fleshes out this space as a site for personal reflection and the mythology of self. What is our story? How do we reflect on our fate and our choices, both past and present? Hall’s dedication to self-expression through artistic creation becomes an avenue for this kind of narrative building. It is reflected on and returned to in many of his creations.

 

Jeremy’s artwork offers a glimpse into the experience of our contemporary iteration of mass incarceration, a world rarely seen by the public. In doing so, we witness the stain that it has left on our societal landscape. Its’ effects have been, and undoubtedly will be, experienced by men, women, and children for countless generations. It is a phenomenon as brutal as it is systematic; it isolates, alienates, and stifles the human spirit.

 

In this light, Hall’s work also reminds us of the potent capability of artistic expression to critically engage with our potential. It can allow us to connect with ourselves and also with others. It can also allow us to examine our surroundings as a way of superseding authority and domination.

 

An enormous thank you to Jeremy Hall for his ingenuity and enthusiasm in helping make this exhibition happen. Thank you to Raine Leblanc as well for her hard work and professionalism.