Roots of Development . 2014 . 9' x 16' . Hand-sewn tapestry and Acrylic Painting . 

Roots of Development . 2014 . 9' x 16' . Hand-sewn tapestry and Acrylic Painting . 

Upon my art research on the overlap between the sectors of development and human virtues, conducted over a series of collaborative sessions at the Chancellor’s College of Malawi and Dhaka University, in Bangladesh, I developed an allegory of development and virtue. The tapestry here uses a metaphorical visual language to illustrate the interconnectedness of the development pillars of Climate Change, Water and Sanitation, Infrastructure, along with the related virtues: Respect, Dignity, Compassion, Justice, Love, Patience, and Courage. The relationships between the “sectors” and the virtues are motivated by conversations with members of poor communities in Malawi, Bangladesh, and Haïti; as well as exchanges with the students in Malawi and Bangladesh, and mission officers of USAID in those countires, who helped illuminate the challenges of international development, and reflected personally on the virtues inherent in that work. Haiti is evoked by the presence of the endangered red-breasted Hispaniolan Trogon, a national symbol of hope and resilience, but also of fragility and challenge.

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