This installation documents the exhibition This Mountain Loves You, created by the AGO Youth Council in collaboration with Mexican/Canadian artist Ani Castillo. Shown in Walker Court from July 15–22, 2018, This Mountain Loves You is a tribute to and a recreation of Leonard Knight's Salvation Mountain, a large-scale folk art site in the southern California desert. Over a seven-week period, messages of self-love and empowerment were hand-painted and stitched together to counter and resist the current climate of Trump-era politics.
Ani Castillo was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. At a young age, she became a successful blogger which gave her the opportunity to work as a Cartoonist for Mexican newspapers and TV. One fateful day, through Myspace, she met her now husband and moved to Canada to live with him. The adventure was thrilling but challenging, since she had to leave her people behind, speak in a new language and re-start her career from scratch. All while becoming a mother, redefining her identity and working hard towards overcoming her social anxiety. Her work has been published in Mexican and Canadian newspapers and exhibited in galleries around North America. The humanistic nature of her work has opened the doors to partnering with institutions like Mental Health America, Doctor Without Borders and the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Ani lives in Toronto with her two daughters and her husband.