ART STORY | Workshop Stories: The Shadow

On March Break, the Art Gallery of Mississauga and the Mississauga Library System hosted TELL ME A STORY: An Art-Inspired Creative Writing Workshop for Youth. Participants, aged 10 – 19, were asked to choose from a selection of works from the AGM’s Permanent Art Collection, or the AGM’s current exhibition, Lila Lewis Irving: Con Spirito | Retrospective. The AGM provided captions for some of the works, to inspire imaginative storytelling. Participants were given 30 minutes to come up with their stories.

The inspiration for the workshop came from Chris Van Allsburg’s Chronicles of Harris Burdick, which features short stories  inspired by Van Allsburg’s illustrations and created by writers such as Stephen King and Lois Lowry. Thanks to the support of Thomas Allen Ltd, ten of the participants were also given signed copies of Chronicles of Harris Burdick or the original Mysteries of Harris Burdick.

Lila Lewis Irving, Alla Prima (diptych)
From the exhibition Con Spirito | Retrospective
The Shadow
Inspired by Lila Lewis Irving’s Alla Prima
By Joanne
A bright, happy place. Sun shining, and the flowers look beautiful. Feels like paradise. But then there’s this shadow. Who is it? Is it just a lonely person, looking for someone? A lonesome shadow in a happy place. What can it do? It needs a friend. Someone that can help it out of its dark rage. Someone to make its spirit lighter, like the world it is in. Someone to give it life, instead of being referred to as “it.” But who? And then it was found. Another lost, lonesome shadow, facing the first. I fonly she was found. If only he looked at her. One time, just one glance. Alas, they could not meet. The barrier between them is too thick. She called out to him, but he did not hear. But she would not give up. She could see the sadness in his eyes, if only he could see the sorrow in hers.

And then, one day, he looked. He thought he was the only one of his kind. But he had seen her. The barrier could not hold him back. He had found what he was looking for — a friend. Someone just like him, a lonesome shadow, but not lonely anymore. He could finally see who he was, and he never felt like just a shadow anymore. His rage was gone. He saw the bright place he was in, and he was happy to be there. He knew he would be happy there forever, when his new friend who would always be by his side, happy too. And with that newfound joy, none of their sorrow remained.

Did you know…

Lila Lewis Irving created Alla Prima in one sitting. She says that it doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it feels incredible.

Watch Lila speak about her painting process:

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