PeaceWeave is a collaboration with art students from McMaster’s ART 2PG3: Contemporary Approaches to Painting. It was installed in July 2016 outside the President’s Office in Gilmour Hall at McMaster University.
The most delightful thing about these aluminum prints is that they are a collective effort. By working together, we more meaningfully reflect what Mahatma Gandhi (whose singular bust also presides over this wing of Gilmour Hall) also urges us to remember: that “a true teacher regards himself as a student of his students”. And so we learn, each from each other.
Perhaps the act of compositing and layering is a performance by which the relative dissonances and harmonies of many voices work themselves out aesthetically. If so, the PeaceWeave that we may begin to collage together is one in which we each embolden each other to be more fully ourselves. The collaborative threads woven into this work commemorate Perspectives on Peace, a year of sustained engagement and discussion around the complexities of peace-building and conflict resolution. A painterly geography, orchestrated by students in Art 2PG3 is here infused with photographic and handwritten elements contributed by participants during interactive events throughout the initiative. Panoramic landscapes – adapted from a visually augmented performance by the McMaster University Choir – supply a sonorous textural ground. These elements and activities have oriented us towards reconciliation: a hope often pregnant with paradox. Neither colour nor composition can capture it. But latent in the best light of our shared imagination, lives an invitation to continue listening deeply to our vital diversities, and to persist in the process of peace.
In the spirit of collaboration, and for their respective roles in contributing to this creative process, I’d like to thank the students from Art 2PG3, along with all those who contributed to the “Peace Matters” graffiti wall, with photos and images. Thanks also to Nancy Doubleday, Judy Major Girardin (Professor, School of the Arts), and Dr. Rachel Rensink Hoff (Conductor for the McMaster Choir), and Teddy Saull (McMaster President’s Office).