“From chaos to pax bellissima.”

Photographer Credit: Yago Abeledo

Photographer Credit: Yago Abeledo

Below & Beyond by Yago Abeledo

Now open in Margaret Martin Gehman Art Gallery

This show is a response of our arts and peacebuilding class to Dr. Lisa Schirch fall semester show ‘Pax Bellisssima‘. Our show response is an attempt to make tangible this liminal and emerging dimension in the peacebuidling field: what John Paul Lederach calls “the below and the beyond” (where Pax Bellissima waits for us)” He invites us to pay attention to the below that goes deeper and penetrates under the surface of the technical layer of peacebuilding. Rather consistently he has found that when we have a real connection with people, when we get to the below, we touch something deeply connected to, or reconnected with a basic and shared sense of humanity. Simultaneously he experiences this as connected to something transcendent. This holds a paradoxical quality: Those things that are the most transcendent are also those things that reconnect us with being human.”

The different paintings in this exhibit show various aspects of this intangible reality of the “below and the beyond.” It is the journey from complexity to simplicity, from chaos to “pax bellissima.” It is the allowing for self-expression of what is enslaved and contained by cultural structures. It is art as embodiment. It is about finger painting.

My paintings are accompanied by the pottery of Dr. Lisa Schirch and reflections of Wore Ndiaye. They come from three different religious/denominational traditions (Catholic, Mennonite and Muslim) and also from three different continents/cultural backgrounds (Europe, America, and Africa). All of them come together in this space with one common language: Art. They understand art as a liberating process. They acknowledge that, in the end, the artist never “does” art, s/he is the space through which art manifests. It is through the below that the beyond manifests.



For more about the artist,  visit visit his website.


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