ART STORY | Workshop Stories: Crossroads

room of seascapes by Lila Lewis Irving in Con Spirito | Retrospective

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, Seascape Room
From the exhibition Con Spirito | Retrospective

 Inspired by the seascape room in Con Spirito | Retrospective
By Erica Gonzalez

I was like any other person, to say the least, on life’s path. I just finished high school and now faced a huge crossroad — what to do now? My father died before I was born, and my mother seemed to always be caught up with “work.” “Sophia — we will go out, but not today,” she would tell me. That was four years ago, and I am still waiting. If I were to described myself, I would say that I am hopeful yet alone. Most of the times I feel alone, a sense of emotional emptiness in hunger for nurture and love. But hope is a place where I go to each week, sitting on my favourite rock, watching the workings of mother waters hands touch the shore. Some days she is angry, she is so good this way, because when she does this, it is as if she is absorbing my negative energy — wanting to coax me. This is how it was each week, a synchronicity of emotions which displayed on bondness.

But on this particularly day, when I went to go visit her, she seemed rather unusual — not her particular self. She told me to stay with her because every time I would leave, she would miss me. I thought to myself and felt guilty, as weeks have passed and my visits lessened. I also decided to pursue college and would be moving away. I never had the courage to share to her though, that I would be going away. I decided to stay with her that day, from morning till the afternoon. At this point, the sun’s rays had reached an all time high — a sudden sense of drowsiness came upon me. I closed my eyes. I woke up, and what was presented to me was mother waves extremely happy, she was alive and well. She enjoyed playing with the sand, and when people came to visit, she was elated. Suddenly, mother waves fell ill, an unsuspected event that left her weak and frail. She slowly began to deteriorate and one day, she left. I began to cry as I knew what was keeping her was the things she loved, while hurting inside.

It was that day I decided where my true crossroad would lead me — to my mother waves who I never met.

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