This post comes from the desk of Sonya Jones, Curator of the Thomas Bouckley Collection.
The Making History: Youth Art & Writing Contest gave young writers and artists creative freedom to express what their community’s history means to them. Youth were asked to submit an art or writing project that was inspired by a photograph in the Thomas Bouckley Collection. I was thrilled with the diverse responses! Seven submissions were chosen to be included in a small exhibition in the RMG’s Windfield Lounge.
The five poems/short stories and 2 paintings appear next to the relevant photograph from the collection. The viewer sees the historical photograph in a new way—reinterpreting it based on the students’ creative expression. Congratulations to the winners Courtney Dainard, for the Best Overall Art prize, and Tara Zammit, for the Best Overall Writing prize. Courtney’s painting of a young girl’s sorrow at her father’s departure for war reminds us of the many children who experienced this feeling throughout our community’s history. And Tara’s poem, Open Your Ears, fills the piano room at Bishop Bethune College with joy and music.
Open Your Ears
Dance little tune,
Fly about the room,
Capture my soul like soup on a spoon.
Let my ears indulge,
Open them to something some never love.
But I do, yes I do!
Brother, let me preach,
For the passion in the soul is something one cannot teach.
Let the curtains billow and whisper
As the wind whips around,
Let them join in the creation of this marvelous sound.
Old books line the shelves,
Collecting memories and dust,
Unveiling secrets of history, music and lust.
It’s too much for us!
The dull mind cannot bear
All the beauty, the joy
All the strife, all the cares.
Let the pictures be an audience.
Placid faces stay calm,
Though the spirits inside dance as if they still shone.
In my white blouse and navy,
I sing sweetly along.
On a stool by the piano
Is where I belong.
The exhibition Making History on view until March 3, 2013. The historical images come alive with different interpretive narratives—giving new meaning to Oshawa’s past.