PAM HALL- Biography
Pam Hall is a visual artist, film-maker, and writer, whose work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally, and is represented in many corporate, private and public collections. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta (M.Ed.), and has a B.F.A. from Sir George Williams University, now Concordia, in Montreal. Prior to 1984, when she returned full time to her studio practice, Hall worked as an educator and a senior civil servant developing public policy in education, culture and communications. She continues her association with education and cultural policy in a variety of ways described below.
Since 1988, when Hall began to fish with an inshore cod trap crew out of Quidi Vidi, Newfoundland, her work as an artist has been preoccupied with the fishery, both as subject matter, and as metaphor for human relationship with the natural environment. While her studio preoccupations have grown to include medicine and the female body, she continues to work in a variety of media on projects related to the inshore fishery of Newfoundland; her most recent major piece , Fragments from the Inshore Archives, is a site specific mixed media work now permanently installed in the Ryan Premises in Bonavista, one of the oldest fishing communities in Newfoundland. In 1993, some of Hall's "fishing" work was presented at the United Nations Conference on the High Seas Fisheries, in New York, and in 1995 at the South Street Seaport Museum's exhibition, When Cod Was King: Relics of the Norway and Newfoundland Fisheries- 1805-1995 (also in New York). Hall's most current "work-in-progress" on the fisheries is Re-Seeding the Dream, a site-specific "land art" installation, which was installed in a field of wheat in Southern Alberta, in 1997, and awaits it's Atlantic installation on the small boat fishing fleet sailing from Prosser’s Rock in St. John’s.
Hall's solo exhibition The Coil: a history in four parts, documenting a five year process of site-specific installation on the land and water across Canada and in Japan, was opened by Clyde Wells ( Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador) in Tokyo, Japan, in January, 1994, and after completing a tour of Canada in 1996, was purchased by the National Gallery of Canada for its Permanent Collection. The Coil, a history in four parts, will be included in a new book by Visual Arts Newfoundland and Labrador, which presents major work by Newfoundland artists and will be published this spring. The Coil …was also represented in Canadian Art: From its Beginnings to 2000, by Anne Newlands, Firefly Books, 2000.
Her most recent interdisciplinary installation NEW READINGS IN FEMALE ANATOMY, (comprised of sound, mixed media drawings and prints, sculpture, poetry and original book-works ), opened in 2001 at the AGNL in St. John’s, and traveled to Carleton University Art Gallery in Ottawa. It was featured in the Spring (March) issue of Arts Atlantic and is planned to tour nationally.
Hall has just returned from her show in Vancouver, Re-Writing the Body: Towards the Reading Room, which will run at GRUNT gallery until mid-June. She has also just received a Senior Artist’s Research and Development Grant from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council.
In addition to her work as a visual artist, Hall has worked as an Art Director and Production Designer in film and television, has published as an author and award-winning illustrator, a graphic designer and photographer. Her first "solo" film, UNDER THE KNIFE: personal hystories won the Rex Tasker Award for Best Atlantic Canadian Documentary at the 1995 Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. Her work on the feature film, Extraordinary Visitor, won her the Award for Best Art Direction at the 1998 Atlantic Film Festival. Hall is a member of the Director's Guild of Canada, and her film credits as art director/ production designer also include: Finding Mary March, Secret Nation, Anchor Zone, and The Divine Ryan's. In 1999, she completed her second documentary as a director, Mending the Invisible Wound; a collaborative project with two family practice physicians on survivors of sexual abuse, which won an AMTEC award for visual quality. Her most recent work as a Production Designer were the feature films Rare Birds, and The Red Door, and the four-hour mini-series, Above and Beyond - to be broadcast on CBC in the fall of 2006. She was awarded the Director's Guild of Canada award for Outstanding Acheivment in Production Design, for Rare Birds, in 2001.
In addition to her studio practice, Hall has continued to work extensively in the development of both Federal and Provincial public policy in the arts and culture, education, and communications. In the last decade and a half, she has served on the Boards of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the Canadian Advisory Committee on the Status of the Artist, the Newfoundland Independent Filmmaker's Co-op, and the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador. She served as National Spokesperson for ANNPAC/RACA ( The Association of National, Non-Profit Artist-run Centres), has spoken across Canada on issues related to arts and culture policy, the artist and society, and in 1995 she was the first artist appointed to the Board of Governors of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. She was the President of the Association of Cultural Industries/ Newfoundland and Labrador in 2000-2001.
Hall has longstanding interests and experience in interdisciplinary work, and since completing her own graduate research in 1978 on art and science, has served as a resource person in various capacities to the Philosophy Department, the Anthropology Department at Memorial University, and was appointed in 1996 to the Faculty of Medicine as their first Artist-in-Residence. She continued her tenure there until 1999, when she was appointed Adjunct Professor of Medical Humanities. In 1998, Hall was appointed to the Faculty at Goddard College in Vermont, in their Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts Program, where she continues to teach graduate students from across the US and Canada in one of the only distance MFA Programs on the continent.
Hall was the only artist member of a national interdisciplinary study team examining ethical issues in the Canadian Fishstock Crisis. For three years she worked with scholars from the sciences and humanities to examine an ethical approach to the public policy issues of sustainable development in the fishery, and through her work, brought the voices of practicing fishers to the table, and indeed, into the final publication. The publication of JUST FISH: Ethics and Canadian Marine Fisheries in 2000, by ISER, ( The Institute of Social and Economic Research at MUN) represents the results of this three year team project which was funded by SSHRC.
She is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada, and in 2002, she was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts.
Hall has lived and worked in St. John's for over 30 years.