Brick Works art installation gives public outlet to bond over shared sorrow

'Space for Grief' provides immersive experience for grieving people to heal with their community.

Paper bird at Space for Grief art installation
Space for Grief at the Evergreen Brick Works features a room with paper birds that visitors have written messages on. (Mackenzie Heidrick/The Toronto Observer) 

An immersive art installation at Evergreen Brick Works on Bayview Avenue explores community bonding and healing through grief.

Running until Nov. 18, the “Space for Grief” installation helps people examine their shared humanity, said installation co-founder Ziyan Hossain.

“I believe it helps us recognize that grief isn’t linear, and it operates differently for everyone,” Hossain said.

Many signs are posted throughout the “Space for Grief” art installation at the Evergreen Brick Works. (Mackenzie Heidrick/Toronto Observer)

Space for Grief started with the opening of The Good Mourning Festival, held Nov. 4–5 and centred around grief and mourning.  

“We created a space where people could connect and have shared experiences around grief and death,” said Tasha Shea, Evergreen’s senior program officer of festivals, activations, and tours. “Often, we process grief in private. Death and grief is something that impacts us all. But it’s a really taboo subject that is experienced in private, but grief requires a witness.”

“Space for Grief” was schedule to finish on Nov. 16 but was extended to Nov. 18.

The installation is separated into multiple parts to allow the visitors to understand the different stages of grief.

“The initial part, the Museum of Grief, is meant to represent systemic triggers of grief, things that exist around the house, or in society,” Hossain said. “The second stage is more introspective, guides you through your feelings, and how grief shows up for yourself and others. The third is how you might deal with your grief.”

The first part of the installation is called the “Museum of Grief,” showcasing triggers that can be found around the home. (Mackenzie Heidrick/The Toronto Observer)

Hossain said the space is inclusivity-focused and tries to be accessible in every way, whether it be mental or physical. Organizers have made sure their installation is easy to read and follow, with ramps and volunteers to provide help when requested.

The immersive piece first appeared at the Toronto Reference Library in May 2023. After this successful run, “Space for Grief” gained partnerships with places such as Dixon Hall, Toronto Shelter Network, and Scarborough Arts.

Evergreen Brick Works is not the final stop for the art piece though, the creators have more in store. They have previously spoken at conferences and plan on continuing to spread their ideas to everyone they can.

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Posted: Nov 8 2023 3:51 am
Filed under: Arts & Life News