Art and text

Do not forget me
By Daniel McDonald, 38 years old, 13 years in prison in Texas

As I worked on this card, I was reminded of everything outside of these walls. All that I miss. What I lost. Nature called to me, so as I worked the quilling around the clouds and poem, I could feel a cool breeze, hear birds, and imagine lifting my head up to the Sun. Then I opened the card and returned to my current reality. As I move, walls encase my world. I move all the time, so I see a lot of various passages, marks, and suggestions on walls. I created the wall(s) inside this card to symbolize what I see and endure on a daily basis. Imagine each block is a whole wall, every individual block represents just one of the walls in the many cells I move to. Each expression, mark, note, is a window into the minds of those who came before me. And because I am a part of their community here, I am surrounded with those ideas all the time.
The bars are the harshest part of my reality, outside of the walls. It is the bars that provide a means to see, while also restricting movement. They are how I sought to express the window into some of my dark thoughts. Seeing all of what could drag me down in here. I am still connected to the outer world, just not the way I would like to be. As I live – exist – in here, I fight to not be dragged down, and broken by the burdens of confinement. Do not forget me.

 

Dream catchers
By William K., 62 years old, 15 years on death row in Florida

I think that death row is not a life, it is a state of mind.
So, to better interpret what my state of mind can be, I contribute these “dream catchers” which I have fabricated as an example of just one of the ways to occupy my mind in such a dismal environment.

As many of you might already know, a dream-catcher is sort of a “totem” to Native American Indians. This totem is meant to be able to catch bad dreams and night mares so that one may have restful sleep. J Here on death row we sleep when we can, not when we want to. So I occupy my mind with books, puzzle magazines, artwork such as the dream-catchers, and reading letters that I receive from folks such as you who visit connectdeathrow. If you have any questions on how I fabricate the dream catchers, or any question that may be on your mind, please send your inquiries. Also, please know, whether you are death penalty pro or con, I want to answer your questions. I am a grown man, and I accept the responsibilities of my actions. Can you accept the fact that you have access to a man who is condemned to a place where life is death, and is willing to let you in on his state of mind??

 


Texas Department of Criminal Justice
By Esteban Ch., 43 years old, 22 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Frustration is how this drawing began. Frustration with the way I perceive the prison system as being ran. From my eyes the system is a money making machine; take care of our own and cut cost at all cost. Frustration with how I hear some people in the free world think that there is rehabilitation being offered in here.

By the time I started to see my thoughts take shape on paper I was in a more relaxed / calm state of mind because when I draw it is my form of meditation. My time to think on my family and loved ones.

When I am through with this drawing, as with all the others, I will once again be frustrated with how the system is being ran.