ART STORY | Workshop Stories: Memory Seascape

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, Memory Seascape
From the exhibition Con Spirito | Retrospective

Memory Seascape
By Shefali Liyanage

It was a dark stormy night, in Nova Scotia. The waters were dark and grey, thrashing and screaming as a mother would calling for her lost child. The clouds groaned and thundered, lightning struck the boulder lodged in the ocean. Everything around was moving, and everything was in chaos. But, inside a house just near the beach of the ocean, everything stayed still. Lily saw a man, while reading her book on the porch, walking in the wind and rain, towards the beach. Scared that he might lose his life, she grabbed her trench coat and boots, and went outside screaming “Stop! Stop! What are you doing?” She ran after the man. Lily followed him until he came to the big boulder by the crashing waves of the ocean. “Come back!” she screamed. Suddenly, the man turned. Those bright eyes, pale skin, black hair, it was Eric! “Eric! Come back!” she tried again. Eric smiled, advanced towards her and said “I loved you, I always did.” Then he grabbed her arm, dragging her towards the boulder. Her shoes were off and the trench coat was long gone. Then he grabbed her chin, covering her mouth with his. The kiss was soft, and angry. He jumped off the rock, with her still hanging on. The last sight she saw was Eric, floating in the water, his skin as blue as ice.


Lila Lewis Irving, Wozzeck
From the exhibition Con Spirito | Retrospective

Note: Workshop participants were told that at any time in the writing process, they were free to change their minds and choose another work of art for their stories. Among the submissions is an unfinished story by Shefali, about another of Lila Lewis Irving’s works, and we just love it so much that we decided to post it as well. Personally, I’d love to find out what happens next! Wouldn’t you? – JQ

By Shefali Liyanage

Walter, was one of the legends, the legends of time. He was a time keeper, but oen with a Wozzeck. Now you must be asking what that must be? Well, a Wozzeck is a ring of orange and magenta gems. When you wear it, you can travel to any time you like, whether it be the past, present or future. Walter got it from his grandfather Chrones. But, being how special it was, Walter didn’t know what to do with it. You see, it’s only one visit per customer — that’s for free.


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