ART STORY | Workshop Stories: Seascape Room

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

Seascape Room
By Rachel Wickham

There was once a time of no water. A time where thirst was only for love. It was said, that if you weren’t happily in love by the age of thirteen, you would never find love. Whether you were two, or twelve, the mate you found, would be the one and only one for the rest of  your life. No dates. You would just feel it in your gut when you’ve found the one.

Jacques and Annalise. Jacques and Annalise were mated by the time they were six. Of course, they were still together.

“Jacques honey, you’re never going to believe what I got you for your thirteenth birthday!” Annalise said gracefully.

“Dear, I told you. No gift necessary.”

Annalise smiled. She wasn’t going to change her mind. “Loving you is already more of a gift than I deserve.” Annalise had gotten him the first cup of water ever known to man. She was so excited to give it to him. They kissed, then went on with the day.

It was now September sixth, and Jacques had been called out to war.

“I’ll miss you!” she bellowed as Jacques loaded himself, and his belongings into the big green van that carried the men in camouflage army suits.

“Will you wait for me my love?” Jacques called, as he was shoved into the stuffy truck.

“I promise,” and with that, tears rolling down her cheeks, Jacques nodded and set off.

Annalise ran. She ran until she could breathe no more. She ran until she reached the largest ditch she had ever seen. As she neared the wide open space, she had a flashback of her father and herself sitting in the ditch, talking. She remembered running there to hide from her mother when times were tough. The thought of her father made her cry. He had been killed at war. Now her Jacques was at war. She cried. She cried and cried until her heart was content. Her tears filled the ditch, creating an ocean.

It is now June twenty-fourth. Annalise had drowned in her puddle of sorrow. She is dead now. Although her spirit still lays there. Jacques had died at sea long ago. Though she promised she’d wait forever.


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