Room Reservations 416-531-4635 ext 0 or
Sign up for our newsletter
Book a room Open

In the Playroom: Photographs by Jonathan Hobin


Feature Exhibition, Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Presented by the Patrick Mikhail Gallery and the Gladstone Hotel

In the Playroom is a metaphor for the impossibility of a protective space safe from the reach of modern media. The quizzical disposition of youth and the pervasive nature of the media are symbolically represented in these images through tableau-vivant re-enactments of the very current events that adults might wish to keep out of their child’s world. Just as children make a game of pretending to be adults as a way to prepare and ultimately take on these roles in later life, so too do they explore things that they hear or see, whether or not they completely understand the magnitude of the event or the implications of their play.

Jonathan Hobin is an award-winning and internationally noted photo-based artist and art director. His work draws on iconic literary, cinematic and historical references and popular culture to explore the darker – or at the very least, the more troubling – aspects of childhood, imagination and storytelling.

Features on Jonathan Hobin’s work have been seen on the cover of the Toronto Star, in the Maclean’s innovation issue, on the CNN Newsroom and on the national television program George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, among others. Hobin’s art direction credits include films for Bravo!, CBC Television, and the Lifetime Channel. Hobin was also the Canadian production designer for the first Slovenian/Canadian film coproduction, The Maiden Danced to Death (2010), a collaboration with Academy Award-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond.


Obama Nation 2012, Vegas Wedding 2010, The Twins 2010

All images are courtesy of the artist

Selected Press:

Vice: Jonathan Hobin Recreates the World’s Most Infamous Tragedies with Children

CBC: Jonathan Hobin’s In the Playroom

Huffington Post: Jonathan Hobin: ‘In the Playroom’ Series Recreates America’s Darkest Hours with Children

Toronto Star: Contact: Jonathan Hobin exhibit draws on tragic events and kids for inspiration