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WASHINGTON REID GALLERY

JONNA WILKINS 

Storytelling

Storytelling. It is what makes us human. The metaphorical webs we weave of loss and reconciliation, adventure and homecoming, tragedy and joy, fear and laughter, help us navigate the endless complications and contradictions of everyday life. They help us make sense of the world, and the feeling within any great story which touches us on such a profound level often goes beyond the very words and images that make up a given tale. A good story transports us, but a great story gives us the ability to journey to somewhere else rather than merely escape from something. Great stories are more than just pleasurable distractions.

 

Through allegory and symbolism, great stories, no matter how fictional, far out, or ridiculously imagined, remind us of this world, our lives, however difficult and complicated life can be, helping us psychologically deal with the constant angst of reality. There is always truth in the silliest bedtime story, just as there is always reality in the most fantastical fairytale. It is why so many stories have survived the ages. It is why we have survived the ages. Great stories help us grow.

 

So, it comes as a great relief to know people are still telling their tales. In this day of never before imagined issues and age-old problems which have yet to be solved, image-making and tale-weaving as visionary, reconciliatory actions are as important as ever. And, just as with the great storytellers of old, today's mythmakers' stories are about this world and this reality, transformed through the boundless magic of their imaginations into new, complex forms and symbols: personalized vessels of their own unique experiences, yet universally restorative for us all to understand if we choose to take the adventure.