Pam Hall
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fishworks


Cultural Forensics - 1994-on-going

Late in the 1990's Hall began to explore the tension and resonance between previous work on fishing and her growing preoccupations with the human body. Sensing a possibility of conversation between the individual body and the cultural one- the body politic- she began this series of mixed media drawings, which continue to evolve in digital form. For details on this ongoing work, click the picture.

 

Just Fish - 1997-2000

For three years, Hall was the artist member on an interdisiplinary team of scholars studying the fisheries crisis in Canada, and developing an ethical lense to deepen public and institutional debate for all sectors involved in this resource crisis. Funded by The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, this project, and the visual art which emerged from it, had profound effects on Hall's relationship to ethics, art, and community-based art practice. For details on this project, click the picture.


Fragments from the Inshore Archives - Bonavista-1997-1998

A publicly funded project during Newfoundland's Year of the Arts, Fragments... is a mixed media installation about small boat inshore fishing practices in Newfoundland. Owned and permanently installed in the community museum of Bonavista, in the historic Ryan Premises- it represents an important work in Hall's overall body of work about the fisheries. For details, click the picture.


The Quidi Vidi Archives 1988 - 1997

 

In 1988, Hall was on a small fishing wharf in Quidi Vidi, Newfoundland- working on a television drama as Art Director. Once the film crew left- she stayed on, pulled by deep curiosity about the work, the knowledge, and the engagement with the environment which were present in that place, from long before dawn each day. She asked Eli Tucker- the owner of the wharf and the skipper of the crew that worked the water from there, if she could "hang around".

His "permission" proved transformative to her life and work as an artist- placing her into direct encounter with one of the oldest "hunts" of the species, and the deep knowledge and hard labour of fishing practice.

She fished with Eli's crew until the cod moratorium in 1992. She made The Coil from one of Eli's old cast off cod traps, and created visual art and installation work about the fishery for more than a decade. Everything came from that place- even when she stretched to engage with fishers in Bonavista or in Haida Gwai in B.C., she carried what Eli and his sons had taught her.

The work below represents the visual art which directly emerged from her relationship to Eli Tucker's wharf- the objects are his objects, the boats are (mostly) his boats, the oilskins belonged to him and to his crew. The reverence with which these everyday objects are represented was part of Hall's intention- an act of her labour in respect for the labour of the wharf- using her practice in service of fishing practice itself.


Inshore Artifacts - Tools of the Trade

A photo-based series of "portraits" of everyday fishing "gear", these works were Hall's first explorations of what might be called the "small technology" of fishing. Click the image to see this work.

 

Objects from the Wharf

A large series of mixed media drawings of wharf objects, these works were intended as an act of "paying deep attention". Unaware of the looming loss of both fish and fishers, Hall was drawn to treat these prosaic objects with the same attentive respect she might invest in museum artifacts- to document and represent them as artifcats from her own tribe. Click the image to see the drawings.


Shedding of Skins

As the resource crisis in the fisheries became clearer to fishers and to the public in Newfoundland, Hall began this series of paintings, photographs, mixed media drawings, which engage for the first time in the notion of loss. She continues this series through digital work. For details click the image.


Vessels

All the boats Hall ever stepped aboard were called "she" when spoken of. Intrigued by this, and by other long associations between women and vessels, women as vessels, Hall explored this subject through a number of series of mixed media drawings. For details on this work, click the image.