Ibiyinka Alao

Grace: That Even The World Can Pass Through It

Ca. 2005
40" x 118"

It will require a great philosopher and historian to explain the causes of poverty in the world today. Need less to say, it is a weapon that is destroying many today without us realizing it. War, abuse, childlessness, abandonment of children, orphans, diseases and hunger find themselves becoming allies in a battle that has become an irony in a world that is blessed with so much.

The battle against poverty is yet to be recorded accurately in our history books, yet it is memorable enough for those who took part in it. These people now know that the greatest equipment that guarantees victory is love.

Nothing defines true love as much as Grace. Grace makes beauty out of ugly things. Because of Grace, what causes pain no longer hurts.

It was Grace that inspired this picture. And when I started painting it, nothing else could transmit the thought I had on my mind except the needle, a tailor's favorite instrument. As the needle sews things together, so we can also sew together all the various experiences and situations in our lives, be they good or bad ones, into a delightful picture, as in a quilt which the multicolored sky in this painting represents. That is to say in a very special way, after all is said and done, it no longer matters whether the situations, experiences or personages in our lives are beautiful or ugly, good or bad, rich or poor. They all become equal and desirable when put side by side each other in a story that offers a testament into our lives and is capable of inspiring good in others. Such is the quilt of our lives. We can take a sad song, poem, picture or action and make it happy by the way we arrange it into the quilt of our lives.

My hope is that this picture will inspire joy in everyone that sets eyes on it. In a little way, I also hope that through it, great misfortunes in our lives may be turned into great successes.

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